I feel like breaking my long silence with this peaceful and harmonious sacred Sound of All There Is.
This latest silence on my part – the longest too – comes finally to an end today, October 15th 2013, with my sitting again at my desk in front of my dear fuschia laptop… but in a different house, and in a different place within Auroville.
My previous location, ‘Repos’, although presently very diminished in size, at least still exists by the ocean, but my house there exists now only in my cherished memories of it. The last week of August suddenly brought us surprisingly insistent big waves, which went on lashing out at the coast through the whole of September. They forced me first to leave my house and take refuge in the last house at that end of the compound; but hardly a week later, when I was only starting to settle down there, that house too became endangered by the violent and constant assault of the waves, so I found myself faced again with the necessity of moving out in a hurry, this time having no idea where I could go, as in Repos itself there was hardly any no other house any more, and none with enough space for the activities implied by my ‘Laboratory of Evolution’ work.
Where could I possibly move again in so short a time?
Our Housing Service here in Auroville was up to this unforeseen challenge; of the few possibilities it proposed to me I chose the location closest still to the ocean and most known to me, for I have seen that community being born many long years ago: ‘Djaima’, down the road to the right after the Auroville Bakery, down past the ‘Aurelec’ complex of various technological units with their beautiful Japanese garden and their cafeteria, so useful to me too now that I don’t have a Community Kitchen to rely upon like I had in Repos.
It all happened so fast. I moved here in the third week of September, when it looked like at least I would still have some time to finish emptying my house at leisure; but it wasn’t to be so after all: soon, signs that the front wall was about to collapse showed me I would have to take out everything at once. By then it was already dangerous to even enter the house at all, but two Aurovilian friends who had come to help on that Sunday afternoon with the second attempt that was made to protect the houses with sandbags, saw my plight and instead helped me move my last things out. About a hundred big, empty, thick plastic rice bags had been originally bought but found too small for the ‘sandbags’ purpose, they had been perfect again and again for my previous carrying of things within Repos and then to Djaima; in haste this time those providential bags were filled with the considerable amount of clothes and of other miscellaneous but for me utterly significant and precious objects of all kinds that were still in my room upstairs. The stairs could have crumbled down any time, but thanks to those two courageous friends within an hour everything was out in those bags and safe on the ground near my house, from where a small bullock-cart took them to my new quarters in Djaima before dark. The very same night, the front wall fell, I learned the next morning; I thanked the Divine Grace, and the wall itself, that it had waited for us to be out.
The tiny fan ventilating the insides of my laptop had failed a month before, and so I couldn’t use my laptop to give any news; only a few days ago did the replacement fan arrive finally from its original making place – China; and anyway with all these happenings the great internet connection I had enjoyed at my house for two blessed months will have to be rearranged all over again now for my new place and the different situation here. But hopefully that will be done soon, and this new article will then be posted, but at least I can already write it, and if I find the time, a few more that are also ready within me…
When visiting the unit # 6 in the New Comer Complex at Djaima, I liked it immediately, and said ‘yes’. But during the night I realized the space would never be able to hold all I had to put inside it, so the next morning I explained to the Housing Service that the place where I stayed had to include also my work place, so they gave me also the unit # 5 just next to the one they had already allocated to me. Then it became just right: the second space, much smaller, was perfect for myself, and the # 6 could become my work place.
I started moving in immediately in both spaces simultaneously.
For several days the only thing visible from outside has been, in the front part of both units, the mountain of full, big plastic bags of all the rice brands popular in Tamil Nadu, blocking all passage but a tiny one to the entrance door of each unit; but from inside I was working hard: as soon as each piece of the furniture found its right place in those two new spaces, I have been busy putting back the contents of the bags in their right place as well. Bag after emptied bag, I found again little by little all the basic things I use for my daily life on one side, and on the other side all those I use for my research, teaching and writing work. Day after day my life started returning slowly to normal, although my shifting had happened so quickly that I had still not adjusted mentally to the sudden and radical change. Many times a day I was shocked to find myself in those new surroundings, the whole thing felt almost surreal!…
The new people around me, too, were a constant surprise for me: some of them I knew already, but not as my neighbors… Several helped me very nicely on the physical as well as emotional level, making me feel welcome and valued in this unknown little world I was unexpectedly joining. One new neighbor thought of bringing me food from the Bakery or the Aurelec cafeteria, just when I happened to need it. I was truly a refugee, with everything in my outer life in total disarray for a while, and it still is to some extent, so I am still very grateful for any kind of help I receive, from my neighbors or anyone else.
In Repos most of my laundry was done through the washing machine used for the Guest Huts bedsheets etc; when I left it was not being used any more; it was agreed that I could use it in Djaima as long as it is not needed again in Repos; it was finally brought to me yesterday afternoon, it fits just right in the shower space of # 6, next to the toilets there that will be very conveniently available for the people visiting me or working with me.
As you can see, things are working out rather all right… but sometimes by my own mistake the slight uneasiness I still have from the mere fact of those abruptly new surroundings does bring problems: two nights ago, while going around my new work space, wondering where to hang a certain picture, I simply forgot I was on the raised platform that is there on one side, and I kept walking right ahead, the picture in my hands, my eyes scanning the walls for the right place on them… and found myself all of a sudden falling, of course, having missed the high step entirely. In such cases my body luckily has taken the habit of going limp automatically and calling inwardly the Divine Protection. I ended up on the floor without any harm except at the base of my skull, on the left side above my neck, where while falling I banged against the corner of my wooden desk – ouch! did it hurt!!! My right hand couldn’t even be accepted there at first, a while was needed before it could help by holding quietly but firmly the hurting spot under its immobile soothing palm. Much later, when slowly removing my hand, I saw there was a blood stain on it from the wound, but at least no bump appeared, and when going to bed I was able to lay my head on a (very soft) pillow and even to sleep.
Right now, I am listening to my beloved soundtracks of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ in the background, tasting the delight of beautiful music again, after being deprived of it for long: my good old TV, which the last times I had used it in Repos was showing everything only in black and white, once here, wasn’t in any better condition with all the going around: no sound any more either… except, curiously, for one unique film, which then I kept looking at again and again as it was the only one that worked at least a little, and fortunately it was a film I liked very much!!! But the man who takes care of the maintenance of this Newcomer complex fixed it all in ten minutes, sound and color, and since that wonderful moment I am able to watch blissfully any film I want, and also to listen to any audio CD as well, with great sound and volume pouring out of that old TV I had first thought I would have to throw away… Now it is as new!
I couldn’t say as much about myself, but I am definitely starting to be in better shape with the burden of Repos as a whole having been taken off my shoulders in that radical manner.
But enough for this first post!
As soon as I manage to get an internet connection again, one way or another, I’ll put it up on my blog at last…
Yes, I am back from the stunned silence of sudden change.
Back, with a smile on my face and in my heart.