4 September 2017

MindVISA Auroville trip, Nehak Agrawal 10 A

I along with six other students of Pathways School, Noida, got the privilege to be a part of the Auroville community from 7th August to 11th August, 2017. As expected, it was an extremely fruitful and a highly satisfying 5-day trip for all of us.
Not only did we get the rare opportunity to experience the peace that envelopes the environs of the Auroville community but were also fortunate recipients of their unadulterated love and affection. Amidst all the attention, we also got the opportunity to participate in a community project designed for the welfare of the community members, along with our Turkish friends whom we befriended and collaborated with throughout the five days that we were there.

There were 4 main groups that were created to carry out the community project- the eco-construction group, the musical instruments making group, the teaching group and the painting group.
I was a member of the painting group along with 5 more students. We were given a classroom and were asked to paint some images representing the grade 6 syllabus on that walls. Initially it appeared, I’ll admit, to be a daunting task. We were at sea trying to figure out what we can paint on the walls given the fact that the 30 students who were in grade 6 used the
walls as their books. Given their financial status they could not afford books, hence the walls were innovatively used to teach them what they should know in grade 6, instead of books. Finally, we set out on our task with much dedication as we bore the responsibility of educating 30 students on our determined shoulders. 5 days of collaborative planning, team-work and hard-work led to results which, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t proud of. As I looked at what we had done at the end of 5 days, my hand instinctively extended to my back giving it a short pat. The smile of satisfaction and pride sat on our faces for a long time.

Apart from the community projects, we partook of lots of collaborative activates with our Turkish and local rural friends. We attended yoga sessions in the morning, experienced music-meditation, did surfing for the first time in our lives and attended a leadership workshop which were all unique in their own ways.

Moreover, we learnt terracotta art from a world-renowned artist, V.K. Munusamy. It was humbling to know that he had held many exhibitions all around the world yet he lived in the small village helping other people make a living through terracotta art.
I came to love the small mandatory group sessions in the morning, where we, the
Pathwaysians, the Turkish and our rural friends sat together and shared our thoughts and experiences from the previous day. I looked forward to the discussions on topics like ‘Though India has so many cultures, so many languages, so many religions which are much different from each other, what is the thing that is keeping India together’? or ‘What is truly meant by Unity’?

To sum up, I’d like to say that these thought provoking discussions, the happy reactions of Tamil teachers and students, the feeling of being a part of a community where currency is pretty much redundant made our 5 day trip a memory we will forever cherish.