The Governor of Pondicherry’s sister in law

James here. I found myself taking an order from no less than the above. Although she did not introduce herself as such. She was just “Mrs Clarke, 90 next birthday”. But she had just a hint of that wonderful upper crust Indian accent. And a very fruendly manner.
She told me off about the price of our Al Caprawns (basically £10 each), and how when she was swimming on the beach near Pondicherry as a girl, she used to buy huge prawns from ladies walking down the beach with baskets on their heads.
“I’ll bet you got half a dozen for a couple of rupees”, I ventured.
“Young man, I got a dozen. Then our cook used to make them into a wonderful curry”.
Having figured out we were talking about the 1930s, I mentioned the British Empire.
But no, Pondicherry was a French enclave.


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