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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Each of them had an extraordinary story, more beautiful than a fairy tale

From Paulette paulette@auroville.org.in to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com cc RY Deshpande rydesh@gmail.com date 30 September 2010 08:31 subject Can you post my reply to a long-term Aurovilian
Tusar,
my posting is also in the internal website of Auroville. Can you post my reply to a long-term Aurovilian, she too fully aware of those presences? Thanks Paulette

How blessed have we been, to be witnesses of that world before it was all over! I knew your Birendra too, he bonded books for me. But the Birendra I have mentioned was a short man, no longer young, with long curly hair and intense eyes, wearing invariably blue shorts and a white shirt. Big smile, no words… He radiated a simple joy, contagious: I felt happy just by looking at him. And there was a third Birendra, looking like a small old child, very gentle. He worked at the Press’s binding section and was considered one of the greatest sadhaks. He was popular because of his cap… and for walking daily up to the Matrimandir until a very advanced age.

Heavenly innocence… Professor Aravind Basu, who for twenty years taught Sri Aurobindo at a British university, used to eat at the Dining Room; daily he cracked jokes, playing the fool with my daughter Blanchefleur, who at that time was not yet two… Champaklal, exchanging roses in his room with small Blanchefleur… Once I accompanied him to the train station; Champaklal was leaving for Amarnath and invited me to follow him but… how could I leave my young child? And later on, Nirod – who to my daughter Blanchefleur simply was “uncle”. Every afternoon at 4 pm she had tea, biscuits and cake with him and his niece Dollydi, in his room. When Blanchefleur became a Kalakshetra student Nirod often asked her to sing, dance, and do mudras for him…

Amal Kiran (Sethna), the ‘overmind’ poet, on his ex wife Lalita’s demand used to cheerfully comment on the poems I wrote in my broken English… A constant flow of grace, a daily miracle: this was life at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, those days. Can I ever forget those sadhaks, known and unknown?

I have mentioned my daily flower offering to Nolini-da, around the samadhi, but there was a third party as well: a small, very old lady, wearing a white sari, whose task was to wipe the marble. Day in and day out, with a broad smile, she offered me an incense stick; if I was leaning on the samadhi tapping on my shoulder, to let me know she had come… Ten years later I enquired who was she, I did not even know her name; to my great surprise I discovered that she was Navajata’s mother: a most simple lady who did not speak one word in English, and who with me never uttered a word anyhow: what for? We communicated through the heart!

And there was Themi, whom many considered the one authority on Savitri. Themi had come very young, along with her wealthy parents; like them, she lived in a room in Golconde. Elegantly beautiful in her youth, over the years she kept growing more and more thin, oblivious of her health and person, totally absorbed in her work for the Mother. Intimidated by her grandness I was unable to speak to her, as with Nolini and Parichan. It took me months to find the courage to ask her one question: can we relate the state of suspended death described in Savitri (and discussed in the Agenda) to the Mother? The seemingly other-worldly sadhika turned suddenly into a shakti and passionately replied yes, yes!

So many others… a few still alive, mostly women… Each of them had an extraordinary story, more beautiful than a fairy tale… A common thread, a special charisma linked all of them, one could feel that they belonged to a different world, it was tangibly real. Awareness of another dimension of being, tireless service… Trustfulness, generosity, straightforwardness… That psychic quality that compels to love people as they are, concentrating on others’ positive aspects and leaving the negative ones to the Mother to be taken care of – what’s left of it? Gentleness, innocence, graciousness… Psychic love, divine compassion…

This is the stuff those early sadhaks were made of. And there is no one to replace them. No one. When all of them will be gone, what of that world will be left? Paulette

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