It was a fresh and bright morning. There was no hangover of the past night for it had been an illuminating discussion over her experiences, catching up on latest trends in ecommerce, listening to a few startup ideas and getting ideas about how she can be an acclaimed travel blogger who can earn by getting sponsors for her journey, and make travelling both a way of living and earning. True to a Bangalorean, Tanvi’s mind was freshly brewing with ideas.
It was another 5 hours of driving before she hits the other beach end of India – Pondicherry. Once a French colony this quaint little town is laidback yet full of inspirational stories. People had suggested that she takes the ECR road via Chennai to enjoy the scenic drive to Auroville. There, the sea flows along with the road lined with coconut trees and drive as smooth as butter on bread – it is an experience not to miss. But then that would mean taking a longer detour so Tanvi declined the idea and rather concentrated on reaching Auroville on time.
To enjoy Auroville optimally you should stay there for a few days and experience its culture. Tanvi was in no hurry. Her application to work as a volunteer in Auroville had been accepted. This would mean a more meaningful stay and lesser burden on pocket. Initially, few hours were frustrating in Auroville for there is documentation and verification paper work that must be done before you are allowed to stay in Auroville. Tanvi had to go to the finance department and get a card made. This is more like a debit card for in Auroville they discourage cash transactions. Then she had to look for a guest house to stay. There are a lot of choices when it comes to accommodation options. However, Tanvi was lucky to get an offer for free house sitting arranged by the head of the group she was volunteering for.
It was a nice house centrally located owned by an old lady, Myriam, who had to go out for two weeks and thus she wanted someone to house sit for her. This was simply god send for her. It was a simple house with two bedroom, nothing fancy but surrounded by a huge garden from all sides and a swimming pool constructed in a shape of a well to cool off in hot summer days. The lobby was full of book, mostly on philosophy and spiritual talks of Mother and Shri Aurbindo.
Myriam had come to Auroville long back with her kids. She now runs a store in Auroville’s visitor centre and sell curios and other stuff made by various self help groups in Auroville. She is a grandmother now and her daughter runs a boutique where they use only handmade textile to design contemporary clothes. Myriam showed her the curtains designed out of Bengali cotton saree by her daughter, Prema. The curtains looked ethnic and allowed sunlight to filter in.
Tanvi picked up a small booklet named ‘Fear’ lying in the bookshelf. She decided to spend the day acclimatizing to the new place. So she freshened up, had a cup of green tea and sat in the garden reading the booklet. Interestingly, it was almost telepathic that she picked up this booklet on fear. It was as if the book was talking to her and answering all her questions. She read the book over and over again. Is it really true that the spirit of Mother resides and Auroville and she guides the true seekers?
Tanvi was starting to like Auroville.
Read the previous post here – Chapter 38 – Navigating Past Bengaluru Tanvi Leaves Corporate Rut Behind