28.12.11

Pondy Shondy VII: You didn't do Auroville?!!


Pondy’s like poetry: everyone reads it differently. Every time. Sitting at the granite top study table by the window, as I pen the first impressions about my second visit to Pondicherry, a roaring tumultuous monsoon sea and a fishing boat risking a session at some distance, with a road in the middle and its occasional motor vehicle, an adjoining ten-foot pavement and its decorative pedestrians on this sunny morning keep nudging me to look up from my notebook and out towards them all.

A series of seven posts have covered some aspects that kept me preoccupied during the last five days. As the last in line, I can't help but touch upon spirituality as a major element that attracts several to its realms.

So even before we returned from our holiday, the prospect of the refrain has been involving inventive responses in me. While on one level, it has proved to be daunting, at another, it is as simple as “No.”
The last place of worship I did was, yes, on my birthday. You might even call it an overkill, ‘two churches?!” And I was drawn not to their obvious proportions or intricate pieces of beauty, but the subtle peace and mundaneness. The ceremonious silence of every Ashram campus is a little hard for me to fathom (at least here at Baroda and at the one in Delhi). To me it is yet another form of violence. Almost rendering the visitor feeling a little unwelcome.

Why must serenity be so overtly compelled? Why can’t a place evoke the feeling? And if it cannot, then what is the difference between its almost suppressing discipline and the suffocating straight jacket of an imperialist boot camp. Sure, many benefit from the institution’s dicta and generosity, but that at the cost of one’s freedom of expression? I see a problem there.

3 comments:

Tamanna said...

You said it, babe. You said everything I have ever wanted to say about ashrams. I am all for spirituality, but that deathly silence is not my thing. Not always.

Tamanna said...

And you write like a dream :)

Hopeless Romantic said...

honored :)