Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter

Photo by Vivek Sharma on Unsplash

French Architecture in Puducherry

The working-class district of Kurusukuppam is not the Pondicherry of tourist brochures. Here, residents are a bewildering mix of Creoles, colonial war veterans, proud communists and French citizens who have never left India's shores. It is a place of everyday tragedies, melodramatic occurrences and stubborn, absurd hope.

But life in Kurusukuppam is upturned by the arrival of a curious tramp, Gilbert Thaata, a wizened Frenchman who has clearly seen hard times. Settling down on the narrator's "thinnai" (verandah), Thaata begins to earn his keep by recounting the tale of the rise and fall of his family's fortunes as the custodians of a mysterious diamond, the Stone of Sita (also known as the Hope Diamond).

The fanciful story that unfolds is one that stretches across centuries and encompasses the history of France's colonial legacy in India. As entranced as they are by the raconteur, his listeners cannot help but ask - just who is this old man and how did he fall on such misfortune?

Little wonder, then, of all the 'thinnais' in the neighbourhood, this was the one that was envied the most.

aerial view of city buildings near body of water during daytime An old lighthouse in Puducherry. Photo by nullvoid on Unsplash

Masterfully translated from the French original by Blake Smith, Ari Gautier's "The Thinnai" (Hachette) offers a panoramic view of Pondicherry's past, the whimsical eccentricities of its present and shines a light on the quirks of history that come to define us.

Born in Madagascar, Ari Gautier has spent many years between India and France. He lives in Norway, where besides writing he is actively involved in the artistic and cultural milieu of Oslo.

A cultural historian with a focus on France and India, Blake Smith has translated works by Pondicherrian author K. Madavane and Reunion-born poet Evariste Parny.


Keywords: Puducherry, Diamond, France, colonialism, India


This product review highlights the new Outback Belly Burner.


It has been medically proven that excess fat in the body is responsible for causing various potentially dangerous medical issues, including cardiovascular diseases like stroke, hypertension, and diabetes.

Excessive body fat is also accountable for immobility in people, especially in old age or cases where people have accumulated excessive body fat to obesity levels.

Keep Reading Show less

Becoming an entrepreneur is simple because it does not require any qualifications. All you need is to ensure that you have the skills and dedicate yourself to work. You don't start anything when you are perfect, but through experience, you improve day by day until you become perfect. You can be an entrepreneur irrespective of where you are. Because entrepreneurship involves identifying and developing a possible solution, it makes it possible to thrive in any environment. That is because you cannot find a perfect climate and have no challenges. You can also thrive by increasing awareness of your products if you buy Spotify streams when marketing through podcasts.

Also Read : Developing a healthy relationship with Social Media

Keep Reading Show less

You should have a great vision and be well focused.


When you start a business, you will be risking your money for the venture. As an entrepreneur, you should have a great vision and be well focused. People are born with top-tier entrepreneur qualities, while others have to work hard for the qualities They must work hard and work perfectly to make sure their customers are happy and comfortable with your services. It would help if you were keen when making decisions to avoid going wrong. Below are the tips to help you to become a successful entrepreneur if you follow them wisely:

Also Read : How to be a successful and inspiring social worker

Keep reading... Show less