Friday, October 22, 2010

A memorable trip

The lotus shaped Matrimandir
Holidays are something that one looks forward to. And if the holidays have a travel component to them, then what more could one ask for? Just getting away from the normal routine for sometime gives one that boost of energy to get back to it once again. Also it had been quite sometime since we had last been to any new place and during this Dussehra vacation, we decided on a trip to Pondicherry on the spur of  the moment . I wanted to visit Pondi as I had heard so much about it. As we all know, it is the place from where Sri Aurobindo pursued his spiritual journey. Apart from Aurobindo Ashram, there is also Auroville a place conceptualised and built under the supervision of Mother a devotee of Sri Aurobindo. I was excited to just to be able to visit these places.

Amidst lush green surroundings
Aurobindo Ashram I should say has a very serene and old world charm. The well maintained gardens and Shri Aurobindo's samadhi is the highlight here. In Auroville the highlight is the Matrimandir. This is in the shape of a full bloomed lotus and looks majestic amidst the lush green surroundings. This is where people can come and meditate in peace. However the condition is that only people who sincerely wish to do meditation can gain entry and to do this one needs to book well in advance. Much as I wished to, time constraint and an advance booking of three days made it impossible for me to do this. I felt probably this would be the reason for me to go back once again for the sole purpose of meditation.

Wonderful morning hues from the Sky, the Sun and the Sea
The best part that we all enjoyed was the early morning excursions that we made, to walk by the sea side and watch the sun rise. As many poets have described, watching sun rise for the first time or the nth number of time has the same fascinating and  wondrous effect every single time. Each time you see it, you find indescribable hues in the sky. No painter can paint this glorious scene and no writer can effectively describe the  exact feelings when the dawn breaks. I feel each one of us is affected in different ways and the serenity that one feels goes deep down. That is the time I guess one feels closer to the divine being.

The good thing was our hotel did not have a T.V. Initially I could see children were shocked and disappointed complaining how could they not have a T.V. I felt that these things have become such an integral part of their life, that  it is very hard for them to visualise life without it. But we explained that what are holidays meant for if we do not take a break from all those things that we do in our otherwise routine life?

Our early morning sojourns had a very calming effect on the children and I could see them feeling much more relaxed and peaceful. I wished then life would become so much more meaningful and we could realise our true self when one lives in surroundings where great souls lived. Maybe a day will come when one is done with all the responsibilities and that day would be the day when one can live and try and learn the true meaning of life.


Arvind Kamath said...

Shobhana - Well written in a very simple language. One question for you - Isn't Pondicherry now called Puducherry?

Arvind Kamath

shobhana shenoy said...

Thank you Arvind. Yes it is called Puducherry. But Pondicherry is still used extensively.