There was something about this place that mesmerized my senses the moment i reached.The owner was a German but surprisingly polite,he gave me a room next to an Italian guy.Right from the moment i entered into this world of auroville there was a special aroma in the air that was better than the best perfume i have ever used.This funny 30 years old Italian guy`s name was Antonio.It didn’t take us long to introduce ourselves.Football was one of the common factor that helped us gel fast.In no time we were arguing about whether Italian football is better or english. Antonio was a frequent traveler (not tourist),in fact he had been travelling for last 3 years.That surprised me because we Indians don`t travel so frequently ,in fact we cant afford to(1 euro=73 rupees).I was simply in awe of the place and people living there.
There was so much to explore in auroville,I knew my two days trip was not enough.But still I bravely bought a map ,rented a cycle with Antonio,decided to explore the forests and community of auroville the next morning.As per plan we got up around 6 to see the sun rise in this beautiful land surrounded by lush green forests.Cycling in the beautiful forests of auroville is a feeling i cannot describe in words,the air was so pure and divine with melodious sounds of birds chirping,winds blowing and an amazing Italian companion to explore the unknown roads..So our first destination was Maitri Mandir ,a unique meditation center located in the center of this magical city.We got the tickets and went in with a group of 15 other seekers.The guide was an Australian middle aged man who knew how to capture an audience`s attention.He told us about the story behind the construction of this architectural marvel.Finally after 20 minutes of lecture by this fit Australian , we were allowed inside the Mandir and let me tell you the first step i took into this center ,i was truly awe struck by its beauty,it is indeed a masterpiece to admire.Right from the design of the dome to the symmetry of the staircase and pillars,everything was so peacefully aligned that calmed my mind and soul.Spending an hour meditating at the center was an out of the world experience for us.
After this soul touching journey we set out again on the unknown paths of auroville;after half an hour of peaceful cycling we heard a beautiful music coming from a villa nearby;We set out to explore that space and finally found the youth center( a hub for various creative activities at auroville).We met two cute lively British teenagers smoking cigar in a notorious way.Their innovative house was made of bamboo and wood and beautifully decorated with graffiti on walls and exquisite contemporary paintings.Pretty quickly we introduced ourselves and sat down to have a chat with them.It turned out that they were living here for last 12 years;their parents though divorced are working in auroville. Sia,the elder sister explained us about the concept and culture of this place.How the idea of living as a united soul in community that has people from 43 different nationalities simply astonished me. Sia talked about her school life in auroville;how volunteering plays an important role in the community; a unique idea of aurocard with no cash transaction.People have access to learning various skills such as farming,carpentry,cooking,art forms like dance,music and photography.I think this idea of living together with love and compassion is really what touched my heart and soul.
Meeting these british teenagers was a refreshing experience for us as we got to know the real essence of the way things work here.On the advice of these cute little teenagers we set out to explore fertile community.After cycling for 20 minutes on a difficult terrain we finally arrived at the place.We were welcomed by a lovely lady named Sarah who was busy in preparing delicious lunch for its community.The place was charming in the sense it reminded me of my own village.With cooking being done in open on coal,greenery all around and beautiful little house made up of bamboo.Community members resting on hand made wooden sofas and cots was a sight worth seeing.This community is named as johnny`s community after its British founder johnny who has spent 40 years at this place and has been one of the chief architect of auroville. Many regard him as their grand father.This 65 years old man has a distinct aura around him that will instantly connect with you or anyone.Sarah served us delicious dosa made from red rice.Then we had authentic Italian pizza brought by some Italian guests.Everyone has a different role to play in the community and this concept of community kitchen is simply amazing as it helps in instant bonding.Everyone helps in making the food and they enjoy it together.There is no free lunch in this world they say but this place actually gives you free lunch if you are willing to contribute in making the food.The place has its own subtle charm and aroma that will make you more loving and compassionate.You will certainly meet some good souls here who are truly living their life with freedom.