Wow, for the last 2 weeks I have been living a more or less 'normal' life - getting up in the morning to get to work and stuff... And I tried to enjoy as much as possible of Auroville's offerings. During the first days the women's performance festival was going on - which meant: usually two international performances every evening, some of them really great.
After the festival ended it got a bit more quiet, but there was still plenty to prevent getting bored.
After some house shifting during the first days I lived most of the time in Mitra youth hostel - mostly inhabited by people much younger than me, many of them architect students as Auroville is kind of a Mekka for experimental architecture. In the first week I shared the room with the great Mr.
Suleman 'Lucky' Khan, actor, writer & bansuri player.
One thing I did all 3 sundays was listening to the russian bells and later joining in. To hear them look here: www.aurovilleradio.org/arts-a-culture/performing-arts/2743-sing--resonate - between 56:30 and 62:00 you can even hear me perform: it is the bell mistress Vera on high bells and me playing the low bells.
I met a french couple who are travelling on recumbent bikes. I had a try at one - at first it is like learning cycling again from the start but after some minutes I wanted to have one, too - it is very very comfortable and I guess you have a much better position for enjoying the landscape. Hmmmm, maybe that's something for the next long tour, whenever this may happen. Both Melanie & Fabien were very nice people to chat and share cycling and non-cycling experiences with and both have blogs (en francais): realityslow.blogspot.com
I tried to do all interesting activities at least once: I went to the introductory concentration in the Matrimandir - the huge golden globe in the very center of Auroville. You are greeted by white robed female and male guardians and ordered to be silent before you are allowed to take the spiral walkway up to the central chamber - a cool white room with a crystal orb in the center, surrounded by columns which end into nothing. There you can sit down on one of the matts and start concentrating, whatever that means to you in particular. As a newcomer I was only allowed for a 15 minute session. I had planned to come back for a longer concentration, but in the end I was to busy.
I also took part in a session of laughter yoga, which was wonderful, funny (obviously) and surprisingly exhausting!
On my last evening I went to the
Om choir, which was great because one girl with a very loud voice deliberately prevented all upcoming harmony by always ommming half a tone beside the possible harmony - for me this made the whole thing very exciting but she possibly destroyed the experience for all those that were in search of simple and modest harmony, gnihihi.
And we were creative, too: Most of our last weekend we spent
using some basic radio facilities to record this music: arthurmarektrabant.bandcamp.com/track/tomorrow (bluesharp & webdesign by Trabant!) The recording was finished on a day when Jupiter, the crescent Moon and Venus hovered in one straight line on the western sky - whatever that means.
Now I finally have some real plans: I will cycle through India about 2 month more month, meeting fellow cyclists Mr. Erick & Mr. Yannik on the way in Hampi. I will make it up to Gujarat and have a look at my old home in Vadodara. From there on I will slowly think about coming back. Travelling is great, but there are many people I miss at home. During your travels you meet many many very nice people, but most of them you won't see again after the next morning - I really miss some social interaction which lasts longer than that. Sooo I will take an airplane to Europe around beginning of June. But I want to cycle home, so I will fly to somewhere a bit farer away - probably Vienna. From there it will be 2 more weeks of cycling through the beer country (Budweis! Pilsen!) before I will roll down Elster to arrive home mid of June - anyone wants to join for that last part (or part of that last part) :o)?