We're back from our stint in Delhi, which, let me tell you, was cold! (comparatively) about 40 degrees at night and as low as 60 during the day. Now we are in Auroville and it is getting hotter by the day.
Delhi was Delhi, in that the air quality is so bad by the time you wake up from your first night there your throat and lungs start to hurt. The pain gets worse over the next two days and you begin to start coughing up lots of gross shit ranging in color from yellow to brackish grey. For whatever reason the chill in the air went straight to the bone unless a pile of blankets covered you when you are indoors, regardless of the time of day. Which just exacerbates the pain in your lungs and increases the gross shit.
Aside form all that, we had a wonderful time in Delhi...sorta. We spent all day, every day, shopping at an incredibly slow rate for the wedding. Thus not completing our extensive list, which was added to nearly daily. Then the familial attack of love and kisses was a routine welcome every time we entered the room, even if we had been in our room for ten minutes. On top of this tensions between our host and his s.o made the last few days uhhh awkward to say the least.
Upon our departure the airport was awful nice though. India has changed so much and its only been two years. Soon the India I remember will be gone and I’m not sure that’s such a good thing after all.
At BKK we were standing in line and there were four Indian men with huge plasma TV’s checking in. They had bags and bags and crates of stuff they had bought while on business in Bangkok. The richer India gets the more materialistic, as though they are trying desperately to escape the spiritual heritage that was left to them. I wonder if anyone realizes what they are losing. We ended up griping with a professor from Calcutta about the phenomena of prosperity that is both blessing and cursing the subcontinent.
So we were glad to leave Delhi and travel south, through Chennai and onwards to Pondicherry (Pondi). The first couple of days here in Auroville however, was quite the disappointment. We quickly discovered that bureaucratic French, inherently making things unwelcoming and inaccessible, mostly run the city. Needless to say they were very unhelpful in us getting settled. They seem to accept tourists because they know, but probably don’t know that we know, that they are milking us for our external moolah. Thus adding to their ever-growing economy. It seems very much like a gated community with several worthy tourist attractions. One of them not being, repeat not being, a sustainable eco-village.
Not to say that there aren’t wonderful things being done here. The list we have heard of the positive affects of Aurovillians on the community at large and even in the southern bit of India are quite long and worth repeating, but not now. Now we are off to do something other than sit in the dark internet café.
All in all we are slowly settling in and I can safely say the place is growing on me.