How “Merveille” entered my life

Do you see that deep pink laptop, yes, the one right in the middle of this page, down below?

The blue one is nice too, no doubt, but it is not the one for me.

It is the pink one which is the one just right for me, so right that it jumped into my life a few weeks ago, when I was desperate, because I thought I would never find in Pondicherry the new, mini-laptop I was looking for.

I still mourned the passing into the past of my old Mac ibook, small but so elegant with its immaculate white soft shine… I had bought it in France around July 2002, with much trepidation as it was the first time I was making such a bold decision as acquiring a costly, supposedly elitist object… but it had been the object of my dreams, and I had just found out it actually existed, so there was no doubt I had to buy it, for I was in love with it and so it was certain we would do good work together.

My intense love allowed indeed that cherished Apple laptop to last a full ten years, even in the harsh conditions of the beach, very close to the ocean itself, with a constant flow of corrosive, salty air depositing on everything a sticky film that  attracts to it all the dust or even tiny grains of sand that float invisibly in the atmosphere.

My house there, although having good little glass windows, is far from offering to computers and other such delicate things the same perfect protection that the air-conditioned rooms and buildings provide inland, in a normal environment. The Aurovilians who know only those safe, computer-friendly environments have simply no idea in which conditions I have to work, just by the very fact of living on the beach, and in a non air-conditioned place. Those who helped fix my laptop whenever something went wrong could never understand why  its screen was never as clean as on their own laptops.

Actually that’s how the worst happened: it is when I really tried to clean that screen properly that, although I did nothing wrong at all and I used only the proper cloth with the proper liquid, the result was disastrous; as I slowly, carefully passed the special cloth duly humidified with the special liquid, on the surface of my screen, a horrendous screeching sound stopped me at once, but it was already too late, the damage had already been done… The tiny pecks of sand invisibly mixed with the dust had scratched the whole central portion of my screen, in the same sweeping movement that had been mine in my unfortunate but so well-intentioned attempt to clean it. I still remember the next time I had to bring my poor laptop again to the usual Aurovilian specialist: when he saw the assassinated screen, choking on his unuttered exclamations, he couldn’t even utter a sound; he went mute with horrified anger at me, who had been stupid enough to do such an appalling thing; but his eyes said it all, staring at me, and I felt myself being assassinated just standing there!

Still, I loved my laptop, even though my ignorance led me sometimes to such terrible mistakes in caring for it…

At least I learned in the process, and I promised myself that if ever I was to get someday a new laptop, I would never do again those same mistakes.

And the time did come, end of December, when my dear old faithful, during the night of the cyclone, simply stopped working, and I found myself forced to start looking for another laptop.

But even if it would be this time a less prestigious brand than Apple, and even if it would be only a mini-laptop, with what money would I pay for it??? I had nothing but what Auroville can give me every month for my daily sustenance, so I started wondering how the Divine Providence would  manage to fund the new tool I needed to do my work.

Then a French couple who are my friends since several years and were visiting Auroville as every year, invited me for lunch in one of our Auroville restaurants, and along with the dessert they gave me 10000 Rs in my hand, with a big smile. My heart jumped with gratitude.

The mini-laptops started, I had heard, around 15000 Rs, so I waited some more…

Next, an American couple very active for Auroville and very good friends of mine too gave me a donation for Repos from a person in the US,  and out of that donation 9000 Rs were specified for me.

I could at that point buy something… but I had discovered in the meantime that all the mini-laptops available in the shops of Pondy were again and again black, a color I don’t like to use if I can avoid it. I couldn’t believe the Divine was sending me money for buying myself a piece of equipment the very sight of which would every time make me recoil.

So again I waited.

After a month and a half had gone like that, I was bracing myself to go all the way to Chennai or even Bengalore, bigger towns where there is more choice and someone was said to have found a very cute, colored mini-laptop, the kind i had tried to order, but no dealer in Pondy considered such a ridiculous order as important enough to be really followed upon…

At the same time, though, I had been in the end wondering if by any chance my not finding the right laptop wasn’t a clear sign from the Divine that I simply didn’t need one any more…

At first such a prospect wasn’t easy to accept, but after a while, I was glad to see that it wasn’t affecting me negatively any longer:  I was ready inwardly to stop both my work for the Guest-House here, and even also for my beloved blog, if such was the Divine Will.

But just then my friend Vasu, the Tamil Aurovilian who resides also in Repos and helps me with most every aspect of the work to be done here, tired and saddened of seeing me still without a laptop, took me on his bike one evening and started with me a tour of the many good Pondy shops he knew.

In the second shop we stopped at, a lady was at the desk, and when I asked she  very professionally produced a box which, once opened, revealed to my astonished and delighted eyes this, the pink marvel you can see the picture of down below:

I nearly fainted with ecstatic surprise; my knees gave in, and it felt as if I was going to kneel down  right then and there in that shop in front of the perfect laptop I was staring at.

I managed not to kneel, and to talk to the lady without showing too much my intense emotion, so as to look as the serious, no-nonsense person I am not at all, but must pretend to be in such shops.

The price was a bit higher, though, than that of all the black ones I had seen before: with the nice pale pink cushioned cover proposed to protect it, it came to 22000 Rs.

Mmmph. I was missing 3000 Rs.

I went back home, already determined to buy it anyway the next morning… and looking it up by chance, I discovered on my internal Auroville account an amount donated by a lady-friend from Germany who had written to me she wanted to send something for me personally, but had not seemed to follow-up on that idea; she had in fact: the amount was 3000 Rs.

I burst into tears, and thanked the Divine with all my heart.

The next morning, Vasu went to the shop and brought back for me the exquisite laptop I have immediately named ‘Merveille’, which means ‘Marvel’ in French, or ‘Wonder’.

Together with the few bougainvillea flowers blooming again, the coming of Merveille into my life has marked the return of color and beauty in my world, with all the healing power they have had since then to  keep me joyful and joyfully busy will all the revival work still to be done… A wonderful reminder that Life is still mostly about having the Fun of the Adventure this great process of Evolution actually is… especially when we remember counting on the Divine to make it so for us… This is exactly what this New Step  is trying to teach us, the New Way of functioning we are all invited to discover and live more and more constantly… *deep sigh of contentment*

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