Heart the craft in Auroville

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:

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Shades of old Delhi…

The word ‘old’ brings to mind a vintage image – worn out, yet charming. An image that speaks of a time that’s gone by, and that lived to tell the tale.

One such magical place is Delhi. My fascination with the city began with reading City of Djinn. William Dalrymple’s account of Delhi, ‘City of Djinn, a year spent in Delhi’, is in fact much more than that. It opens your eyes to the abandoned ruins of the past and lets you see it come alive!

Among the various pockets of Delhi, one of the most fascinating is Chandni Chowk (a moonlit square) nestled in Purani Dilli (old Delhi). Chandni Chowk is one old paradise, where you see something new each time you go there. Built in the 17th century by the great Mughal Emperor of India, Shah Jahan, Chandni Chowk was once a grand market. Its full glory, a canal ran through the length of the street that reflected moonlight (hence the name).

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A reason to celebrate!

Picture this:
a bunch of kids – drenched in water – armed with a host of colors – music on the house – food galore – gleeful faces!

The first word that comes to mind is:

CELEBRATION!

Holi is exactly that, a story of faith, the celebration of love, the destruction of ego, and the joy and verve is expressed across india, with colors!

Story goes, Prahalad (a great devotee of Lord Vishnu) emerged unscathed out of fire, which was meant to burn him to death and instead accounted for his evil aunt Holika’s life.

Legend also has it that Krishna (a reincarnation of Vishnu) loved playing Holi with his beloved Radha. The festival is celebrated with much gusto even today in Vrindavan (Krishna’s playground) with colors and rose petals!

LEGENDARY! This had to be celebrated! 🙂

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