Friday, December 18, 2015

Sadhana Forest - Thursday and Friday - Last days at Auroville

It is my fifth day at the Sadhana Forest Auroville. I don't feel too good. I think I miss home a little bit too. I ask him if I can take a break and skip the morning seva. He tells me to take the morning seva off. I spend the morning, at the library. I pick up a book and lay on my back on the floor, drooping off and waking up, from periodic slumbers in between reading a few pages. For the second seva, I volunteer at the Breakfast kitchen.

Feeling Low
I feel really low. I think I should call my parents back home, later in the night. I miss my mother and her cooking. I miss my friends and our afternoon games of cricket. I miss the movies I would go for, with my dad. I miss the pointless walks around my neighborhood, exploring abandoned bungalows and new retail and food outlets. I wish I could just go back in time and freeze time forever. I could be ten years old for life. Those days, when all I had to worry about, was getting a good grade at school and developing a good perception of myself among the adults in my life. If I could do the above, I was a good human being. Even if I was a messed up individual on the inside. I was a good human being, if I got high grades. It was so simple. That was all that was expected of me. I hate growing up. Suddenly, you realize, you can do anything. That is horrible. There is so much to do, that you do not end up doing anything. Aaaaahh.
Why can't someone just judge me by a grade, even today? It would make things so much simpler. I could focus on more important things like play, family, and pointless walks around my neighbourhood. You have to get into a good college, get a high paying job, get married, buy a house, get children, get a car, go on a vacation, retire. What the hell man! I do not want to any of that. At least not now. Maybe never. I just want to, not be accountable for so many things. I just want to be a child again.

For the second seva, in the kitchen, a korean volunteer leads our lunch preparation team. We plan to make some sea weed, beans and organic kind of rice. Cooking is such a mind consuming activity. I am glad, because I was feeling quite lonely that day, and being consumed in an activity, occupied my mind.

I thought about this idea of solitude, after lunch. There were times I was comfortable with it. There were other times, I hated being alone. But I always felt like, there was something about being alone, that helped me grow. But sometimes I also felt like it drained me emotionally and mentally. There were days, when I would think up a thought, and then build on that thought, to think up another thought. Sometimes, this thought building process would go on for an hour or more. Most often, it turned negative. I turned on myself. I kept telling myself, how I am not worthy. Or, why I could not do that particular task and how my self image, has reduced because of that. I don't know why, I can't let myself feel infinitely happy. I always have to self destruct, if too much is going well in my life. If I have two or three good days, then the fourth day has to go bad, and I have to do something stupid that will make it so.

Friends make the world such a nice place to be in
I met Co and Ma, that afternoon. Ma stayed in Chennai, and was working towards becoming a certified scuba diver.Courtney was from the US, and she spent a year, in Florence learning the culinary arts. They were talking to each other, in the main community hut and I just walked in. I grabbed a pillow and when Ma acknowledged my presence, found a seat near them. I introduced myself and thankfully, at Sadhana, you did not have to go beyond the name. I found out about what they did a little later in the evening. But we spoke that afternoon and then kept talking. It was such a nice feeling to meet somebody new and then have a long conversation with them. It was the first time at Sadhana for all three of us, so we had that in common to start off with.

After four hours together, we make a plan for more quality time together. A community member, told us about a French film screening, at a center, in Auroville. We had no responsibilities that evening. So we call up a cab and decide to explore Auroville further together. We start off with some coffee and cakes at the Visitors Center. They wanted to buy some clothes and souvenirs, but the shops were closed at the Visitors Center. Dissapointed, we head to our next destination. On the way, we spot a shop. It seemed like they had the goods, we were looking for. We shout. Stop Bhaiya! The driver stops and we spend the next hour picking up souvenirs for relatives back home. I couldn't purchase much. I had a ground rule. Your bag is already heavy. No more stuff to carry. After the our little shopping spree, we decide to have dinner at a restaurant that was recommended to us by many of the volunteers. The ambience is beautiful. We order some wood oven pizzas. This meal is very different, from what I had gotten used to at Sadhana over the last four days. We then realized we had ten minutes left for the movie to start. So we gobbled up the remaining slices and rushed back to our cab. We reach ten minutes late, but fortunately got some front row seats at the theatre. The movie was about a a french man, that had chaplin like characteristics and often found himself in problematic situations. It was funny.

Friday at Sadhana
My last day in Sadhana. I finish the two morning sevas and then attend a workshop in the library by one of the volunteers. We had to sit in front of each other and look into each other’s eyes for three minutes. We would keep shifting partners. We formed an inner circle and outer circle. I was part of the outer circle. I start with one member. This is so intimidating. I thought I would have walked out of this exercise before it started. But I thought I should just give it a try. It was intimidating but fun at the same time. In the evening, me Madhu and Courtney, watch another film at the Weekly film screening of Sadhana Forest. It was a good week.


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