Sunday, 31 August 2014

What a month!

Wow, this past month has just flown by!
So the 1st was C's birthday, we went to Pondy in the evening (K at C's mums for the night) and had a lovely dinner in a fancy hotel on the sea front. These nights that we get child free are so important, it's nice to reconnect and relax a bit!
A few days later 2 huge truckloads of earth were delivered to our community to be used to raise the level of the communal garage. Obviously K was delighted!

The floor is now filled and compacted and the next stage is to cover with concrete. This is funded with the community account (each adult pays 200rs/£2 a month into this account for such projects) and projects are decided on at our monthly community meeting. Sadly not everyone participates in the meetings but me and C like to keep active in this area and I think it's good that a few of us younger residents show some interest in what happens.
The 15th marked not only Independance Day on a national scale but also the birthday of Sri Aurobindo, the guru of The Mother, who dreamed up the concept of Auroville. The community celebrate by having a bonfire at the Martimandir amphitheatre. I hadn't been before (the bonfire is lit at 5am!!) but I wanted to go so made the 4am wake up call and cycled there. It was quite exciting and nice to be going for the first time alone. I enjoy having that time for reflection, to connect with my own experience of life here.
I found a spot at the back, to enable me to take the whole scene in. It was very quiet, people only speaking in very hushed tones if at all.
Then the fire was lit, there was still silence in the amphitheatre, only the crackling of the swiftly ignited fire could be heard. After about 15 minutes, a recording of a reading of some of Sri Aurobindo's writings was played which added to the mood.
(I've not read his work and not much of The Mother's either - luckily not a prerequisite to living here. I tend to follow my own path spiritually and use bits of certain religions, philosophies and ideas to shape that path. I guess being raised by anarchists taught me not to conform too much to any one ideal. I'm glad that I am able to feel that way and live here without prejudice - in reality their collective work isn't meant to be seen as a religion...)
Then we watched as the sky grew lighter and the birds started singing. It was a very beautiful thing to witness and I felt very connected to the collective as well as myself.

At around 6am I cycled home again, feeling elated. I had enough time to get changed and headed back out to attend my yoga class. I got home at 8.30, energised, tired and happy.
One reason I haven't updated my blog this month is that we had an earsplitting thunder and lightning storm which hit our hub and blew it as well as our PC. We still have our laptop but we had no internet for nearly 2 weeks which was initially devastating as it represents my link to my family and friends back home but after the cravings wore off, I found myself being much more proactive!
I finally made a project this month that I had been meaning to make for ages. I'm always looking for ways to reuse waste creatively and found this project on Pinterest:
Here is my version which K is very happy with. He's just reached an age where dressing up is a big part of his play.

 We also had a call from the RRO regarding our visas and were asked to come in on the 18th to collect them. We arrived just before 4.30pm as requested and sat for about half an hour before being told that due to a power cut, they wouldn't be ready that day and to return the following afternoon. The next day we returned and sat for over an hour, during which time and number of men sifted through piles of applications, doling them out to various people. Finally they found C's, then after another painful wait, they found mine but not K's as apparently they made (another) mistake with his and had to redo it...!!! So, me and C are finally legally here but not K yet. Hopefully his will be ready in the coming week...we'll see...

Then on the 21st I started my 'Newcomer orientation week', which is a week spent with people who also joined Auroville at around the same time. We visited a number of interesting places and projects, a large number of which I'd not been to before and some I'd only seen a little of:
It was amazing to see how much hard work goes on here. We don't always see because we focus on our work, our home, our friends but when you get the chance to see the bigger picture it is an affirmation of why we're here. Our base for this was the Tibetan Pavillion in the cultural zone of Auroville which is a very beautiful place to spend time. I felt very at home there and it was only place I took a photo during the week (I usually snap everything but fancied having a week off from that, to really focus on the activities instead of getting the perfect shot)
Well, only 2 photos - couldn't resist this lotus either!
Last week, I finally got an upgrade! I've been driving the moped for almost a year now and it felt like the right time to get a bigger bike. This is the most popular bike in India, the Hero Honda Splendour. It's more economical with petrol and is a fairly small bike so easier to handle as a woman with a small build. C's bike is not so practical for a family so this will be our family bike. We got it second hand for 18,000rs (about £180) and we should be able to sell the moped for around 10,000-12,000 (£100-120) which will offset most of the cost. It will take a little time for me to get used to it though as it has gears which the moped does not.

Friday marked the beginning of Ganesh Chathurti, a 10 day festival celebrating Ganesh (

K brought home a handpainted model made with earth which we have put on the balcony.

It's been a packed month, am sure September will be no exception either. Will be back next week with reflections of our first full year here.