LATE NEWS OF A SILENT SUMMER
Today, July 18th, my closest collaborator and best friend is coming back from France. Hurrah!
When she visits me, nothing much will seem to have happened here: the ocean did get closer than when she left, but I am still there… my house too is still there… there are still a few Guests around… most of the regular, long term paid workers are still around too… The place looks pretty much like it’s still the same.
And yet there is a forlorn and solitary air hanging about everything, draped around everything like an invisible shroud; no Volunteers any more to help keeping things going and also keep me company; except for the ‘Early Breakfast” which remains a must for our own Guests and ourselves, all the other serving of food or juices has been interrupted since two months; the chairs normally welcoming the people around the festive tables out in the open area are all stacked up in the store-room, for otherwise, in the absence of our usual customers, Aurovilians and Guests from other parts of Auroville, those poor chairs had been attracting the wrong kind of users: the local thugs having nothing to do all day long but drink alcohol and hang around, handling brutally and breaking whatever they would find still available for their careless use, like our three hand-pumps, and those too vulnerable plastic chairs.
Without this seating arrangement, although there are also some benches around tables in another area, the few stray people who venture here during the day do not stay long; the weather has been mostly greyish these last weeks, with a few good rains now and then but not the real summer monsoon that was expected. At least the heat has been quite bearable, living on the beach definitely a helping factor as always.
Inside of my house too, things at a first glance would look pretty much as usual; no one would get any idea of the various upheavals that have rocked my life and work during those summer months, leaving me without any of the usual means of communication I normally have at my disposal to keep in touch with the rest of the world, and particularly all of you who follow my blog or my facebook page… Hence what has become this ‘silent summer’ on my part until now.
But the present and the future are finally looking brighter:
I am temporarily using a borrowed laptop, until my real one – my beloved fushchia one with the large flowers and delicate butterflies – finally gets a new motherboard, the old one having been corroded by the salt air during the two months when, my phone and internet line cut because of financial minus, I had to use a USB device… a ‘life saving’ alternative indeed, but that received the signal only from outside the Community Kitchen, fully out in the open.
Then, just when the lack of a laptop had given me more time for putting some very satisfying order in the house, and I was rather happy with the visible results, disorder came back in full force in a most unexpected and unpleasant way: an incredibly thin thief managed to repeatedly sneak into my house before I realised it was through my extremely narrow windows that he was managing to enter, a feat no one else had ever accomplished in the twenty years I have lived in that house. Not only every morning it was one more area I discovered completely messed up by his ongoing search, there was worse: more of my modems or other pieces of equipment were found missing every time. All this in spite of my checking carefully all my doors before going to sleep; it was like black magic, giving me the horrible feeling of a spell of powerlessness against this gradual loss of all I needed for my outer work – not to mention the huge additional amount of work to put things in order again in one area after the other, day after day.
Thanks only to a totally miraculous Divine Protection, although a thin line of rust on the top of the metal almirah enabled the thief to break it open one night, he couldn’t open the safe inside – to lose also the relatively important amounts of cash kept in there for Repos, myself or some Guests would have been a real catastrophe, but that at least didn’t happen: he did manage to break open that safe the next time… only to find it already emptied by me!… My sense of humour started to come back when I imagined the face he must have made when after all his efforts in the night he discovered that I had finally outwitted him!!! Beyond all the anguish of the preceding days(and nights!), I began remembering that there was such a thing as ‘The Way of Fun’ in this Integral Yoga !!!
In the meantime I had found out that the windows were the problem, and gotten them properly reinforced, so finally he couldn’t come in any more, on the contrary the last time he tried he almost got caught, and that ordeal stopped – except that for the few following weeks I had to carry with me at all times whatever cash happened to be there, hidden in an unconspicuous small shoulder bag I could keep some place downstairs or in my room, depending where I had to be at the time. I usually go out only rarely; during that period no going out at all for me, with the constant responsibility of that bag.
The almirah, although old, was still in good overall condition, so someone at long last accepted to repair it, and it has come back into its normal exactly fitting place a few days ago, a concrete symbol of the restoration of safety in the house.
Slowly it seems some new found equipment is coming to replace those heart-breaking repeated losses I have had to endure earlier.
A neighbour suddenly brought me the old laptop he could temporarily spare; my own ‘Merveille’, for which a new motherboard hadn’t been found anywhere in India in spite of a two month long search, when all hope seemed to be lost, is finally getting that motherboard especially ordered from China, where this brand of laptops is originally made. What a relief!…
My little Research Office, where I didn’t dare any more to sit for the painful, traumatic sight of all that was missing there, or destroyed beyond use, is starting to be welcoming again, and I use it now with renewed joy and gratitude for all that is gradually being given back to me – sometimes in a new, completely unexpected form; the internet connection is a great example of this strange but so deeply rewarding ‘rebirth’ process:
Out here on the beach, access to internet has always been a problem, condemning us who lived here to irregular, bad and slow connection, if any at all.
But this has now wonderfully changed:
A new person, staying in a neighbouring community, managed to install there a new system only made available recently, using an individual antenna put up on top of the house. I started happily going there for internet, but I soon realised that couldn’t be the solution for me: every time while I was deserting Repos in that way for hours, in the meantime all kinds of things were going wrong in Repos itself as I wasn’t there to receive the new Guests or get the rent money and the keys from those leaving, or the workers suddenly needed me for something, or other people were looking desperately for me, and of course there was nobody to answer the constant phone calls for booking our Guest-Huts…!
So I stopped going out and resigned myself to another period of forced silence.
But then at some point later it dawned on me that the same system could perhaps be installed also on my house in Repos; yes, it was indeed possible, and the new neighbour even agreed to help me out by doing it all himself again, this time for me, just as he had done it for the community where he was staying.
The result is unbelievably good: for the first time in years, with this new system in place, I am enjoying a stable, fast and efficient internet connection, right in my own home and Research Office.
And do you know what?
Just now I got a phone call from the Aurovilian specialist who had ordered the replacement keyboard from China some time ago; it has come, he had my little laptop all fixed and I can go take it at once!…
Wow, this is great news!!! Well, see you later then!
P.S.: Just to confirm that this is posted right now from my recovered dear laptop… Thank you once again Divine Grace!