Monday, June 05, 2006 Pondicherry moncheri... ...definitely a place worth to see. the old-city with a french mediterranean flair, untypically Indian (kind of) clean and organized, good restaurants all around... it was a great and relaxing week-end in spite of the almost unbearing heat. We were a bunch of people coming here (about 15 all together) and stayed in some reed-cottages at the beach of AUROVILLE.
Very hippie-indian-travelling-like and definitely very charming. Now everyone left apart of myself and I am exploring the old city with my roller bike and try to get in to this travelling-freedom-feeling. Well, yesterday it felt kind of strange all of a sudden to be totally alone after being surrounded by so many poeple all the time, all the more because it is low-season here and in this small reed-cottage resort I was and am the only-lonely guest:-) well, the resort is owned and led by an Ukrainian mid-aged lady who seems to enjoy a more easy-going and confortable way of life here at the Bay of Bengal, worshipping THE MOTHER (like almost everyone here) and avoiding the beach in front of the resort (because of the STARING, STARING, STARING... of the male local visitors here; no further comment!!!).
Now I must introduce you to THE MOTHER (I just visited her tomb before here in the city; she died 1973); THE icon of Pondicherry and founder of AUROVILLE, the community who lives here nearby, trying collectively to become in unison with the cosmos. Yesterday we went there for a visit; I must say, their credo is interesting and remarkable. unfortunately, it is not really possible to get in contact with the people living there. Only the visitor center, a documentery on a screen and some exhibitions reveal the philosophy and the living-style of the community. I imagined something like an Israelian Kibbutz, but it was different.
The area where the people live is huge, and is covered with a planted forest. every kilometre on the road appears another house or community building behind the trees. And the standard is definitely 'Western'. Everything is clean and organized und trotz den vielen einheimischen Touristen keine Abfallberge am Wegrand. The place seems to be a Western Enclave and reminded me more on a better-class-resort than on a kibbutz. It was interesting to see it. Unfortunately the MATRIMANDIR = the soul of the community = a giant golden golfball in the center of the area is under construction and therefore not open to the public. well, we could see it from the outside (located in the middle of artificial island) and took a few pictures.
The MATRIMANDIR contains a huge cristal which has the function of an altar or somehting like that. The inhabitants of AUROVILLE visit this building for the sake of meditation. They appereantly don't worship anything there in contrast to the tomb of THE MOTHER and SRI AUROBINDO (her Indian Guru Companion - also in the tomb!!!); here, the visitors (I saw only Indians) fall on their knees and pray silently:
SILENTLY!!!! this way of praying is definitely imported from France, where THE MOTHER comes from (even though she is of Egyptian-Turkish origin; well she claimed to be not from this planet anyway). Yes, Pondicherry moncheri; AUROVILLE; THE MOTHER; THE MATRIMANDIR; SRI AUROBINDO.... interesting to see and watch and observe. I think I'll stay another day and then try to get to the mountains again to flee the terrible humid heat here. Still, Pondicherry is a highlight in the South of India. Au revoir. Mi scho. posted by mischo@asia at 12:38 AM the world is NOT flat mischo@asia Location:Bangalore, Karnataka, India: originally from Zurich, Switzerland of Swiss/Czech origin, currently doing a trainee-ship in Bangalore, India and trying hard to get to know and understand the depths of the overwhelming Indian cosmos...2 Comments:
Erik said... Nice to read about your Auroville visit, guess I was close by but only managed to see the beach and to drink some FRENCH red wine. It was really a good weekend though! Now I'm in Manali, waiting for the rain outside the internet-cafe to stop... heading on to Leh as soon as the road opens again, it was closed yesterday due to snow in the high passes. Please write about your visit in the mountains in the south and how it is different from ugly Ooty. And hey, I even understood the german you wrote! Cheers and take care! /Erik 5:04 AM