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Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Auroville
September 14th 2014
Published: September 15th 2014
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Kolam2_1Kolam2_1Kolam2_1

We did not see any this intricate.
An endearing feature of most all homes and places of business in this part of India are Kolam, highly symmetrical geometrical line drawings that are composed most often of curved loops and dots. They are drawn at entry ways, often decorating the streets. Thought to bring prosperity to ones home, they are redrawn with white rice powder and something that makes them sparkle each morning by Tamil women. The rice powder also invites birds and other small creatures to eat it, thus welcoming other beings into one's home and everyday life: a daily tribute to harmonious co-existence. It is a sign of invitation to welcome all into the home, not the least of whom is Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity and wealth. It is a matter of pride to be able to draw large complicated patterns without lifting the hand off the floor or standing up in between. Motifs may include fish, birds, and other animal images to symbolize the unity of man and beast, however we did not see any that did. Needless to say they are beautiful, some strikingly so, and I appreciate the intention behind it. We took pictures of some of our favorites, from complex to simple,
Old and newOld and newOld and new

-big and small, all variety of homes together
(mostly simple), and enjoyed making some kolam drawings on paper.

We continue to visit the beach often and have discovered a much nicer, very shallow, free of trash and predatory men beach, Banon, about mile up the road. Unfortunately, walking that extra mile in 95 degree heat proves too much to make it a daily venture. To get to the new beach, we strayed through a mixed income neighborhood in various states of repair and disrepair. The nicer houses, some of which seemed to be being built by the inhabitants, were constructed with brick and covered with sandy concrete. Several tiny grass huts remained intermixed with the larger brick homes and there were many antiquated structures as well. On the way back, we walked along the main road so as not to get lost. The majority of stores along this whole stretch of road sell old doors and some furniture. They are gorgeous hand carved/crafted works of art in many cases, though I have a thing for wood. I wish I could fit one in my suitcase...



This week we checked out the fancy pool and the kids has lots of fun playing in the water, but decided that the beach was much more fun. They are getting so spoiled with eating out so often, especially with having their own money to spend on drinks and sugary items that they wouldn’t be eating back home, (thank’s Mimi). I have learned that most vegetarian Hindus consider fish an acceptable addition to their meals and eating chicken is also common in this region that I thought was primarily vegetarian. We played with a group of 6 to 8 year old school children at one of the Auroville schools that bus local Tamil children in and promised to go back this week. They were very curious about us and requested that we take several photos of them. They also showed us all of the edible native plants in that very area, it was highly interesting.



The scooter remains a highlight and I am always amazed at how well the journeys orchestrate themselves. You just ‘go' and any object that might seem inopportune or threatening just works its way out with satisfaction for all. It’s not in the spirit of, ‘everyone women for herself’, like I have witnessed elsewhere, but more like the expectation is that all
Scooter in IndiaScooter in IndiaScooter in India

I don't have a picture of us on our scooter, but we did ride 4 to a bike when we were picked up to get our new scooter and this is not an uncommon site!
will have their needs met, all will get to where they need to go- the eb and flow acquiesce, allowances are made without thought and paths open up. Though it may appear to be a race akin to that of a grain a sand through an hour glass as lane markings mean little and there are often just too many people trying to get through at once, it exists as consideration even on an unconscious level. I like to picture myself as a particle, one of many, holding some loose fitting purpose, filled with joy, joy for others on the journey, zipping in and out, never feeling any need to place emotional attachment to the behavior of others. Quite unlike the ‘handwaving' good manors of the states where you feel potential obligation or upset, judgement, expectation, or mild pride- a somewhat convoluted, “ Please, go ahead. No, after you”, rather than just that they are going and how shall I adapt. I read that if an accident occurs, the public will often attack the perpetrator as though they broke a solemn rule. I also read that there is no Hindu word for 'thank you', though they occasionally say a phrase
Our favorite Our favorite Our favorite

Was in fornt of someones home.
that means, "that is kindness". I love all of the alternates in perspective.


Additional photos below
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BlueBlue
Blue

Our little one eyed cat friend. Wish we could take her home.
Sleeping kids Sleeping kids
Sleeping kids

-would be sweet if I had been sleeping in the other bed...
DoorsDoors
Doors

-many many doors.


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