This piece has been specially written for Vikalp Sangam website
I’ve often asked myself – do you have to love your children because they have your genes? I don’t think even a relationship as close as that of a parent and a child, can be enforced.
Today I can barely see a blur of what I write, through my tears. Because I can feel. I can feel love. That’s free from responsibility and ‘have to’s.
I am not a proud mother. I don’t know what I expect from them to make me proud. I’m just in love.
Kids all around the world play Lego. But Aman thrives in its brilliance. ‘Mom there’s no fevicol!’
Our romance with Auroville started with the blocks their architects have used. Their toilets – effortlessly water free. Dry, clean and composted. Making us feel the absolute disaster in the creation of what we use today. The science behind their houses, little channels filled with water – a moat protecting the house from insects.
The sky in the shelters, minimal walls. Every place colored with sunlight and teasing curtains.
Every structure – like a continuity of the outdoors. Lines meant to connect us to the trees and not to separate.
Our first experience with the Sense of Auroville, was on a bike. Yes, 4 on one. Quite a leap for us city dwellers.
Loving them is so natural. As natural as the spirit of wonder and the joy of exploration. 3 cycles skirted the town from south to north. Finding swaram and miracle. Furiously pedaling.
We found our common ground. Something that we will always do wherever we go. The simple act of traveling on bicycle. A common goal a common place to go to, a common sense of body work and a lot of sun sweat and smiles.
I feel I found the best friends in the world.
I feel grateful to Auroville. For the absense of excess. Excess is the one thing in Bombay, that drives me away from my kids. Creating a rift. Here, from the food to the play – everything was minamilistic, enhancing the spirit and not dulling the mind. The lack of choices. Because implementation of ideas that were already backed by research, had a purity.
I learnt to look in the eyes. The complete concentration and focus- no phones, no tv – just the present. I don’t look into my boys’ eyes often enough. Just that is such a special feeling.
From this day on, I will try to move out of Mumbai, really hard. I don’t want to feel that hard again. I want to walk smoothly and feel a gentleness in my being. This city holds only one goal- ambition and success. I crave for neither.
Photo by the author