French India and Auroville

Trip Start May 11, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of India  , Union Territory of Pondicherry,
Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I went to Pondicherry to relax on a beach and to check out the famous French quarter.  Part of this town was very European looking and clean while the other half was good old India.   After exploring the city I decided to inspect the beach..... to my surprise there was none!  I really have to start reading more about the places I go! Basically there is a huge boardwalk along the ocean but no beach... just massive rocks.   I was a bit disappointed since I had booked a room that I had thought was pretty close to the sand.  Oh well...... next time! 
       The walk along the ocean boardwalk was pretty scenic with a mix of Europeans and Indians.  When the board walk ran out I kept going.   I ended up walking around a little fishing village which butts up against the end of the promenade. Little dirt huts with adults, kids, chickens and cows roaming around.  The kids were eager to say hello and one little boy (who emerged from a very decrepit hut) could speak perfect English.   He tagged along with me for awhile asking the normal Indian questions. (i.e. where are you from, what is your name, what is your job, are you married and so on)  With his help and the curiosity of the other kids I soon had a little posse. The little boy would translate what I said to the other kids and vice versa.  It was a nice way to spend the afternoon.
      That night I stumbled upon a little beach side concert.  Now I am going to show my ignorance here because I don't know the types of music or the types of dances I saw.  I can't look up everything you know!. But it was very entertaining.  There were old Indian men singing and playing the Sitar which was interesting at first but after a bit became painfully monotonous.  This was followed by a group of little girls dressed up in traditional (Tamil?) clothing and doing the local dances.   The younger girls (6-8 year olds) were super cute while the older girls performed together in perfect unison.

     The next day I went to go explore a place called Auroville.  I heard it was a place simlar to a commune/kibbutz where people from anywhere could come work and live together in peace.  Sounds a little weird eh?  I rented a scooter for the day (3 bucks!)and drove out there.  I was really curious to see what this community was all about.   Upon arrival to the visitors center I learned that Auroville does not really explain itself  that well.  I watched the welcome video and perused their literature but I still didn't get it. If you care to know about Auroville you can always Google it.... but if you want to understand why I the couldn't get a firm grasp on it... check out their explanations.  The flowery language just confuses me!

"Auroville wants to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realise human unity."  

Auroville Charter
1.  Auroville belongs to nobody in particular.
2.  Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole.
3.  But to live in Auroville, one must be the willing servitor of the Divine Consciousness.
4.  Auroville will be the place of an unending education, of constant progress, and a youth that never ages.
5.  Auroville wants to be the bridge between the past and the future. Taking advantage of all discoveries from     without and from within,
6.  Auroville will boldly spring towards future realisations. Auroville will be a site of material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of an actual Human Unity.

Now do you understand Auroville?
  On my way back back to town I got wicked lost, picked up a hitch hiker and ran into a funeral procession.... the dead guys belly jiggled as he went past......

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