Indien 5 — Auroville Farewell

This will be a post of mostly pictures, and as you see another one in English to not discourage anybody. Again, no promises for the future :) There would be much more to say about Auroville, but I don’t have much time right now, and am in many ways already so far away that I think my next writing on Auroville and India will be concerned with differences between my Indian and East African experiences. So for now just have a look…

I didn’t get to spend much time in the nearby and famous Pondycherry (short and usually called Pondy, or, the new name, Puducherry) at all, true to my plan to be and live in a place instead of straying too far. And I am happy about that. Still, a visit there provided some of my first impressions from actual cities in India, even though nothing in comparison to Bombay. And I understand the charm it has for travellers. As a former French colony, it has a lot of elegance that the rest of India is mostly lacking, or has a very different kind of, depending on your point of view. Which doesn’t mean there is no trash, even though almost scenic.

Also, I wondered what the tourist police does. And why they don’t just enforce the helmet laws instead of displaying advertisements, as creative as they may be.

The french flair is best preserved in the Alliance Francaise, a restful oasis of quiet after the noise of any Indian city.

Back in Auroville, a glimpse of the vibrant cultural life there, from a cabaret night with Hindi-Pop and Indian Classical dance, but also clowns, singing and music.

Apart from that, the animal life in both Auroville and India in general is still amazing to me. For instance, I could wake up in the morning to find that a group of ants is cutting up a bigger insect that died in my bed, either by itself or with some help from the ants. Also, I’m still sometimes startled by the complete relaxation of the dogs that sometimes looks like they’re dead. Here appropriatley in my guest house next to the full food bowl, but they do the same in the craziest places.

My last general Auroville picture is from a place where they do nice lunch buffets, especially on Sundays, and where I saw my first and only Jackfruit tree, one of my new favorite fruits.

I went there twice with the same friends who took me on one of my best Auroville adventures — a Sunday morning at the granite mines, to swim in a lake again after all that time away from home. The scenery is almost surreal, with the big heaps of stone and (for Indian standards) almost no vegetation. After swimming, hanging out and some practice jumps we went for the cliff, about 8 meters I guess.

Very different, but also great fun and terrific for pictures, I was also thrilled to celebrate Holi with the colleagues (and friends!). The celebration is much wilder and more visceral in the North from what I hear, we had skin-safe natural colors and no alcoholic beverages.

Here are the colors prepared for use, and after.

The decoration and little prayer before, and group picture after, in the good company of Krishna.

And another close-up of a victim, and making peace by sharing Samosas.

Another highlight of course was the 10-hour trip in a small bus to an Ultimate Frisbee tournament in the beautiful mountain city of Kodaikanal („Kodai“). The frisbee had been an important part of my life in Auroville, and so had the people of course.

This is me with one of the guys in the bus, and the workshop where one of the three broken tires was fixed we had on the way there, driving through the night. That is, I think it was the same tire three times…

This is what moves people here, and proof that at least part of it actually works.

Again, me and the friend at the lake, major tourist attraction of Kodai. We’re having some fruit for lunch to not be weighed down for the afternoon games.

And these are some action shots, a succesful jump for the disc to score of one of our top players, and another one being viciously (but as far as I remember unsuccessfully) „stalled“ with the disc.

And, as a proper farewell, some more Nandanam pictures, with special thanks to Jinhee who documented some of my time there and gave me the photos. And who was really really good to be around always. Ach, I’m getting sentimental!

This is „circle time“, and a theater performance about a monkey and a drum. The boy on my lap has too much of a real monkey in him to be able to participate…

One of my favorite activities of course was swimming with the kids every Friday (and Thursdays in a smaller pool), and I was happy to pass on the joy of one of my favorite childhood memories — being thrown in the water by my dad.

Of course great fun also was a day with the slackline.

And, with a sigh and my best wishes for the children and teachers, a farewell group picture. The personalities come out quite well… Thank you for the good times Shilpi, and Sarasu (not in the picture).

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Datum: Dienstag, 3. Mai 2011 20:21
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2 Kommentare

  1. 1

    Es macht sehr viel Spaß zu sehen was du erlebst und zu hören, dass es dir gut geht.  Mehr davon… :)

  2. 2

    Dankeschön! Hoffe, wir hören uns auch bald mal wieder!!!