As I explained in one of my recent previous posts, ‘Voluntary Guinea-pigs…’, since about a year I am really focusing on something I have until then somehow neglected to pay suffcient attention to: the power of my thoughts, and the necessity to check constantly what I was thinking, lest it would become true and wouldn’t be at all what I really wanted to become true!!!
I had to start one year ago on a big scale, because the coastal erosion problem eating up progressively since twelve years all the beaches from Pondy itself to the Auroville Beach Community that is just before us, suddenly started eating up big gulps of the beach right in front of our place too. Some real action had to be done, and quick, and what I felt I would be better at than visiting the various officials who could help externally, had to be some kind of inner action, hopefully with the help of some other people. That story will definitely find its way also in this Blog soon, but right now I want to mention a smaller scale, more discrete and more personal problem:
It so happens that since a few weeks I am in the (for me) complicated process of getting, as a long-time Aurovilian, my 5 years Indian visa renewed. That necessitates a number of forms to be filled up and formalities to be done both in the various Auroville offices and in the Indian Government offices in Pondicherry, 10 kms from where I live.
Early in the process, I discovered I couldn’t find my Residential Permit any more. Bad start. Still, first little victory, I didn’t let myself be impressed by that ‘bad omen’, at least I did have still my passport, so after getting by phone the green light of the Auroville office, I cheerfully went to the Pondy Office where they would make and give me a Duplicate in order for the whole process to go on without delay.
On the day when the Duplicate was to be delivered to me, the officer who received me explained that the main officer supposed to sign it was ‘out of station’ and would be back only on the 11th. I would have to come again. But he agreed that it would probably be possible then to do everything on the 11th: not only getting the Duplicate, but also getting my whole file for the extension of my visa, entered into the bureaucratic pipe-line.
So I went back home cheerfully again and planned rigorously all the things I would have to get done for my file to be complete and ready by the 11th, only a few days away, and with the week-end in between. Not only did I plan it all, but I did it methdically too, step after step: there was simply no doubt in my heart that I would make it in time. The enormous (for me) amount to be paid in visa fees nearly gave me a heart attack, but my resolutely positive attitude remained the stronger, I recovered at once and went ahead full blast to conquer the next hurdle: finding out exactly who was in charge presently of the financial support extended in such cases by Auroville to the Aurovilians without personal resources; once the person was identified, contacting and persuading that person to provide me with the necessary funds on the very same day. My cheerful, upbeat attitude did it again, I managed to contact the person, we would be meeting before noon on my way home, I still would have time to get the money transformed into the required ‘Demand Draft’ at the official Bank in the shopping street of the local village.
I was just about to cheerfully leave the Auroville Office with what I thought was my entire file, when with a big smile the Aurovilian working there handed me an additional bunch of papers, explaining that this had to be seen and approved by the Secretary of the Auroville Foundation (the Indian especially created legal body that represents Auroville for official matters), who would then issue for me the necessary Recommendation Letter to be given to the Pondy Office.
I almost collapsed on the spot:
‘What?… Secretary?… Signature?… Recommendation Letter??? But how long would all that take?!? About one week!!! But that’s impossible: I’m expected back in Pondy’s office tomorrow morning!…’
The smile of the other Aurovilian had turned by now into a compassionate sigh, but I wasn’t beaten yet. I seized the new bunch of papers, practically ran to the Foundation Office (luckily only a hundred meters away), recognised at once the nice clerks, a man and a woman, who had always been friendly and helpful with me in those nearly forty years I had been in Auroville, they were happy to see me again, I explained my situation, they said they would do what they could, and to phone around 4 pm to check if the papers would be ready. No garantee of course, but at least obviously the possibility was there… which I instantly made into an inner certitude.
I thanked and left, knowing I still had a lot to accomplish in time on the money front.
I met the person needed just as agreed, but the money was still only in the form of an Auroville internal cheque, so I quickly went to the Auroville Financial Service to cash it, and then straight back to the Bank in the village for the ‘Demand Draft’. Luckily another Aurovilian I knew personally was precisely getting one done too already, so I just followed her example, we stood in line together, we even had time to chat a bit while it was all getting done, and half an hour later both Drafts were ready and handed to us.
I cheerfully went home, had some lunch, did some work for this blog; at 4 pm I phoned the Auroville Foundation Office, the clerks said my papers were ready, I could come. I went up again all the way (another 10 kms) to the Auroville Town Hall where all those offices are, took my papers, thanked everybody with much heartfelt gratitude, and returned home very, very cheerfully: I had won my bet! In spite of all the hidden hurdles popping up now and then, everything finally had gone fine and had been done in that one day I had before the big trip to Pondy on the 11th… What a demonstration of the power of inner resolve and of pure, simple, unshakable faith that at every step the help needed would be there… Usually I tend to be the defeatist, and to get discouraged by the slightest obstacles. Again a great lesson for me, to trust that inner power more…
P.S. When posting this, I found myself putting it under not only ‘Auroville’, but also ‘The Way of Fun’. I wondered why . Then only did I realize I had actually had FUN, real fun, while functioning like that at top speed, but at the same time in almost perfect calm. I usually hate adventures, they are too risky, I’m scared of the unknown and the unexpected; but it had been a kind of Adventure all right, and yet I had actually loved every moment of it, I had rejoiced in the Challenge… and rejoiced in the Winning! Hurrah!!!