It is Friday 19th April, 2013.
I am making my way to Chennai today. My mission in Auroville is complete (I know, I haven’t told you about it yet, but that will come). I have moved forwards in my understanding of the project, and of myself. The latter being a quiet surprise that snuck up on me. It will turn out, that despite my hesitations, reservations and (I’m sorry to say) dislike of Auroville, it is here I will have realised the weight I had been carrying and finally let go of it. I have the Matrimandir to thank for that.
I have already introduced you to Sharon and Gerome, but you do not know them yet. In fact, despite the 3-4 hours we spent together I am sure I too do not know them yet.
Sharon owns a resort in Sri Lanka, an inherited project from her deceased father. Hideaway. And hide away it certainly makes you want to do. Sea and surf on one side, safari on the other. Though pricey, I suspect a quiet haven and really it is a great desire of mine to go one day. But I feel, to fly and then travel to Arugam Bay I would need a companion. So I wait for that time, and will go when the time is right. Yoga, good food and great hospitality – what else does one need?
Their manner is generous, warm and engaging. Both of them. They are one of those couples one envies to be like.
Sharon and Gerome are both from Sri Lanka. Sharon speaks a little Tamil, which comes in handy as we navigate our way through the streets of Chennai to my uncle’s apartment. Her first husband, she tells me, was from Belfast. What a small world indeed it is.
They are almost newly in love, it feels. It is obvious the respect and kindness they have for each other. It makes me smile, it gives me hope. Not all is lost, really.
And I find my curiosity is reciprocated. They are intrigued as to what brought me to Auroville. To be honest, I am here to gain knowledge of their experience on sustainable development with respect to Renewable Pads. My primary goal is my work with Saphara, in North India, developing an Adolescent Sexual Health Programme for slum children and promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. With information gathered, and having had a glimpse of what the ethos of Auroville is all about, I was happy to move forwards.
The side answer to that was, I am travelling with no return ticket, around India having just been to Nepal and the Himalayas. I have a job to return to in the UK in August, it is for one year, in a city I am yet to decide will become my home. The thought of returning does not fill me with dread (on the contrary I value the requirement for training in my field), but the thought of being ‘grounded’ due to the inflexibilities of said training does fill me with trepidation somewhat.
There is more, of course there is, I am working out other things too. The conclusion of which can be summarised in one sentence, one piece of advice given by Sharon, ‘It is time to cut the umbilical cord’. How did she know?
How did she know that it would not be that simple.
It is strange, because my own mother actually gave me the exact same piece of advice a few months later – how does that make sense?!
It just goes to prove how great both these women really are.
We stop for a quick pit stop – Cafe Coffee Day – I love this place, it’s like the Starbucks of India. I fill my face with mocha and chocolate ‘shots’. Why not? And we carry on, thoughts echoing around my mind, bouncing back and forth. Maybe Sharon has a good point? Maybe it’s time to do what I want, for once?
If that’s true, then why does it feel like pain?
Maybe Hideaway would be the perfect place to work it out 🙂