Harper's Bazaar March 2016 - Page 290

ESCAPE Bazaar CECILIA MORELLI PARIKH: INDIA Founder, Le Mill (From top) The reflection of a temple on Gadisar Lake in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan; backwaters in Kerala; colourful street signs in Puducherry. In March 2007, I travelled with a friend to Rajasthan, Varanasi, Goa, Kerala, and finally went diving in Lakshadweep. Once I got back from the six-week trip, I decided to move to Mumbai for what was supposed to be a one year magazine assignment! I fell in love with the country, the people, the smells, the sounds. I wanted to be a part of the city, its varying sleepiness and crescendo of bustling chaos. It really felt like a country of change, and I needed a change from my corporate, high stress life in New York City. I needed a break from the speed of NYC. I was aware that I was too much in my head, and I needed to get out. MARISSA BRONFMAN: PUDUCHERRY Last year I travelled to Pondicherry, a charming little place I had wanted to visit ever since I saw a piece on surfing in the region four years earlier. New romance was in the air and the escape from Mumbai was welcome. We stayed in charming boutique properties nestled in handsome old buildings and crumbling bylanes, and strolled arm-inarm through sun-dappled roads with Parisian-looking road signs. After five years in India and numerous holidays, this was the first time that I felt I was part of the city I was visiting, as opposed to being ensconced in a high-walled resort. It changed my perspective on how to travel and discover new places. I rose early and ran along the promenade, watched the fishing boats come home, cutting through the ocean under a bright morning sun, and smiled at the South Indian chaiwalas. We rented a scooter and drove through the forest to taste organic delicacies in Auroville and popped champagne by the rooftop pool. After much ado we found the surfing school I had read about so many years ago; it was shut. But we’ve got countless memories to smile about and a very special cork by our bedside. n 290 IMAGES COURTESY MM GETY; CULTURA TRAVEL/PHILIP LEE HARVEY/MM GETTY; MARISSA BRONFMAN Founder, Moxie Media and Bowl Bar