A sarcastic take on Life,Love and Lungis by a wandering Malayali. NoT for the easily offended.
Farm days...part 1
I let out a mighty yawn and slowly stretch my body. The rising sun is visible through the bamboo bay window;resembling a shimmering gold chain in the eastern sky . Suddenly my toe is stinging and itching like crazy and I realize it's the colour of beetroot. I swear aloud thinking this must be the doing of the bloody black little scorpion again. I gingerly limp down the steps of my 'capsule', my current residence.
It's raised high on four stone pillars with sloping roofs made of brown coconut leaves sewn together and artistically supported by bamboo poles. There are three huge traingular bay windows sloping away into the surrounding forest. A completly 'biodegradable' residence ! The capsule's in an organic farm where I am expected to work 5 days a week from 6 to 9 in the morning. The buzz word here is solar and eveything runs on it. So forget about electric luxuries we take for granted like a fan or fridge. If you're nice, they will let you have a solar lamp and that's about it.
Inside view capsule
As i look up...
The farm's got a little bit of everything including tomato, basil, runner beans, sweet potato, cashew, bananas, etc. Work involves digging the soil and getting your hands messy with planting , watering, etc. There's also compost and liquid fertilizer, the smell of which nearly caused me to pass out once. There's something sublimaly calming and grounding about getting your hands and feet dirty with soil. I try to work barefoot as much as possible and love it so far except for the odd scorpion encounter.
The geographical location of the farm is in Auroville, an experiment in community living with a spiritual base, located in Pondicherry , a former French colony in South East india. The population of 2000 is made up of equal number of Westerners and Indians inspired by the teachings of Sri Aurobindo , the Mother and an environmentally minimum impact living. There is no personal ownership of land or houses. Everything belongs to the community as a whole.
After the farm work and a hot breakfast I set off on my cycle to explore the township. There's Matri Mandir, an imposing structure made solely for meditation, as also numerous walks in the forest.
Auroville over the past 40 years has taken on a green look from a denuded overgrazen land thanks solely to its early inhabitants who planted more than a million trees. Lunch's usually in a communal kitchen run supposedly on solar power feeding hundres of people everyday. Its pretty impressive ! There's plenty of new age things happening all around. So the usual bits of yoga, astrology, tantra, chanting, kundalini manipulation and what not...
The peak season in Auroville stretches from December to March when the weather is most amiable. A time of never ending workshops culture programs and other activities. A couple of days into my stay I saw my first live kathakali performance. It was riveting stuff even if one doesn't understand everything that's going on. Just last week there was a 'rainbow dance' bringing together dance from all over the world and India performed exclusively by Aurovillians.
Post Script: Article put together by notes i made during my month long stay in a farm some months back.