Living my dream of the Raj (Part 1)

Pondicherry children

The children of Pondicherry

For as long as I can remember I’ve harboured a dream of visiting India. I’m not sure why, beyond being somewhat fascinated by stories of British India told to me by an amazing primary school teacher many years ago. Endless Rudyard Kipling poetry recitals and tales of the British East India Company.

A 10 year old boy conjuring up scenes of a Colonial Polo Club in Bombay with Punkah Wallahs keeping the English Gentlemen cool in the tropical Indian sun. I always thought British India would be an exquisite choice as a time-travel destination. Of course, in the light of modern day it all seems so politically incorrect.

In addition to my primary school influences I grew up in an area of London that was to become one of the epicentres of Indian migration to England. I developed a sense of cultural closeness to India and the Indians, almost an intrigue if you will. Nothing new there, the English have a fascination with India stretching back almost 500 years. Movies have been spawned on this topic, the wonderful The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for example.

And then of course there is the English love affair with Indian Food even though dishes like Chicken Tikka Masala and Butter Chicken have never seen the light of day in downtown Bangalore. According to the folks at Menulog Indian food is now the third most popular take away behind Italian and Thai in Australia, some of that I’m sure being powered by ex-pats.

To the endless disappointment of my waistline I’m also a bit of a foodie, and one of my greatest food heroes is British Chef, Rick Stein. In 2013 the BBC first aired a series called Rick Stein’s India: The search for a perfect curry. Wow! Perfect TV as far as I was concerned. In the second show of the series, Rick visited a town called Pondicherry (It’s 37:55 into the highlighted clip). Now if India and Indian food wasn’t enough, Pondicherry touches on one of my other great loves, all things French (with the broad exception of Parisians). Until 1954, Pondicherry or Pondy as it’s known was under French Colonial Rule and the city retains a distinctly French quarter.

So there you have it, for 4 years I’ve hung onto the dream of following in Rick Steins footsteps by visiting Pondicherry and finding my perfect French-infused curry.

Treysta encourages you to fulfil your dream

At Treysta, we’ve worked hard developing and delivering an advice process that helps our clients to identify their core values and understand what’s most important to them. We encourage our clients to fulfil their dreams because we believe there is a high value in doing so. Helping clients understand their financial decision making in the context of their core values is the secret to success. You see money can’t buy you happiness but the way that you choose to spend it just might make a significant difference between an ordinary life and a life well lived.

Visiting Pondicherry – ticked off the bucket list

It would be somewhat hypocritical of me not to fulfil at least one of my dreams. So on a whim I set about understanding how on Earth one gets to Pondicherry. A couple of weeks later my partner and I were on an Air Asia flight to Kuala Lumpur where we connected to an Air Malaysia flight to Chennai (formerly Madras). I remember seeing the Indian Coast for the first time as we approached Chennai across the Bay of Bengal and I couldn’t stifle a broad smile from breaking out.

In the next part of “Living my dream of The Raj”, I’ll set out some of the highlights of my Indian adventure and share the odd photograph.