So I was at Auroville last year. A community, an international township in the south of India, which is a melting pot of different cultures, people from different parts of the world, for whom this is home.
The idyllic setting and the lovely people creates the perfect atmosphere for both silence and conversations.
Amidst the organic food, the lovely workshops, concerts in the amphitheatre on a beautiful moonlit night, the stunning handicraft there swept me off my feet! Simple and charming. Soulful, like everything else in Auroville, and what the place stands for. Innovation, Beauty, simplicity, recycling, earthy, creating employment opportunities (some of the stuff is made by women from surrounding villages). Truly inspiring!
Here is a low down on my top picks:
The love for the written word amplifies when you see these lovely products and the thought behind them! In their products, their note says, ‘shlokas, prayers, letterforms, words, phrases and mystic poetry from Indian tradition finds a new expression…’WOW’!
Fun and quirky accessories made with newspaper! I loved these earrings, what’s unusual and special about them are the images they use as the center of the design. Notice the tree and the picture of the three girls in school uniform.
Besides the thoughtful designs, what was fantastic to know was that well paper was started as a women empowerment initiative to support tsunami affected families from villages around Auroville. FULL LOVE to them! 🙂
See more at www.wellpaper.org
Have Fun Pottery
Ceramic and clay jewellery, in the most fun ‘avatar’! I bought these quirky earrings ‘coz it looked like a crab to me (my zodiac sign). If that looks like a Scorpio to you, well my best friend is a scorpion (I mean the zodiac sign) and not so fond of jewellery, so I’ll wear this one for her. 🙂
They make fabulous paper and even more fabulous stuff with that paper! In that treasure trove, I found these paper mâché ‘jhumkas‘. Also when it’s handmade paper, I can’t resist buying a notebook. You always need some space to pen down those million thoughts!
Goddess Eco Chic
Making quirky bags and wallets with recycled tetra packs! Responsible fun? I’d say so 🙂
Not part of Auroville, this small gallery cum pottery studio cum home of the lovely Neela (who comes from a nearby village) was one of my hot picks! To escape the afternoon heat, I’d ride on the muddy path on my bike and hide in her studio and try my hand at creating something fun (and hopefully something better than the previous day! :p). I must add here that she (and her little boy) was an absolute delight to chat with! Always a BIG plus! 🙂
Find her on the Auroville main road towards the Repos beach.
I did pack in all the goodies that I could fit into my back-pack, although not to my heart’s content! If only I didn’t have the onward journey for another few weeks. Sigh! The thought of having to carry it around all over made me leave so much behind, even the pottery I made at Neela’s!
I believe when you leave something behind, you always go back there. I left a part of my heart in Auroville, look forward to being called back there some time!
Read more about Auroville here: http://www.auroville.org/