In Repos, a Heavy Casualty: Our Biggest House

For one full week now the ocean has retreated and has been quieter; so no further erosion for the time being. My gratitude goes to you my anonymous allies, and to the Divine Grace.
But when I called out to you all for help it was actually because our biggest house here, which new people had built some years ago just against the fence where it was at that earlier time, had already become the first casualty, too horrible a sight to bear and to tell you immediately about. It was so heart-breaking I couldn’t accept this loss as real until a few days ago, and still very reluctantly so. Nobody had been living there since the cyclone (end of December 2011), but it had not been very badly damaged, so some of the new people interested in coming to live and work here had envisaged to stay there when the erosion problem would be solved; but in this month-long period of sudden accelerated erosion, that house was the first in line getting the repeated shock of the waves; constantly attacked, its foundations finally gave in and the house started dislocating more and more under our horrified eyes. Now it lies like a huge broken toy falling over backwards a little more everyday, leaning towards the beach and the ocean in an extremely slow motion but an ineluctable one; an agony we are still forced to watch as this house was very central and visible from practically everywhere in the compound. Every time I step out of my house, it hits me again and my heart misses a beat.
It’s also the first thing people see, who come into Repos from its normal main gate. After they have had such a dramatic introduction as that to our current erosion problem, I have a hard time convincing them that this is only a passing phase and that Repos will recover!…
What adds to the catastrophic overall impression is that some of the damage from the time of the cyclone is still lying there in the form of big and ugly piles of trunks and branches waiting to be transported away to the designated place elsewhere in Auroville by some other Aurovilians who have taken up that work; as the whole of Auroville has had its huge share of fallen trees during the cyclone, this cleaning work is not yet finished in the more central places of Auroville, so here we have to wait some more for our turn to come.
In the meantime, the place does look ‘bleak and desolate’, as someone said – he is right to some extent, but he has no idea how bad it was before, and how much better it looks already !!!
One nice effect of the recent three good rains I must mention: some greenery is coming back!… A few flowers even, yes, I have seen them with my own eyes this afternoon…  In the last two months, the water in our wells had turned so salty because of no rains, it was impossible to water the plants, the salty water was only okay for the coconut trees, not for the few still surviving plants.  So these rains are the first watering those plants have had in a very, very long time, and it feels wonderful. Nothing yet like lush grass anywhere, but at least some green is coming back here and there, sweet and pleasant to the eye and heart. Also, it is less hot, the temperature has gone down, at night it’s so  much cooler you almost don’t need a fan.
Speaking of cool nights… I am yawning and yawning and falling asleep on my keyboard, I better go to bed now! But I wanted to get that new report ready to post tomorrow morning as soon as the internet connection is there…


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Nina
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 04:05:43

    sorry that the house was lost in the storm.

    lessons learned from the structure failure would help to design a better one

    more durable and lasting.



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