As this is my first visit to India, I have to say honestly that I didn’t expect to see how important Art and aesthetic, more generally, are to the people of the region of Tamil Nadu (it would not be a mistake to extrapolate to the whole India I suppose…). Beauty seems to be everywhere starting with the water flower display (cf. image) that we could gladly admire when passing by at the lobby of the hostel. It was renewed with a lot of care every 10 days or so, in order for the flowers being displayed to always be fresh and therefore keep refreshing our mind every time we would be passing by… I also noticed how much attention is brought to the design of the water flower display so that the shape of the flowers is always harmonious. Usha, the manager of the hostel, once asked for the shape to be modified so that the colors of the outer circle would be more consistent with the color of the following circle.
Art is everywhere in Auroville and in the surrounding villages. Colors are extremely present and important starting with the ones that we see on the saris worn by women. They also are so generously present on the -often very impressive- Kolams created on the ground -by Usha and her team at the hostel- and in front of shops in Kullapayam village. “Kolams are thought to bring prosperity to homes” according to Wikipedia. Take a look a the Wikipedia article !
Music too is omnipresent. Very often, there is a very loud music coming out of the temples and it is that same music that would wake us up in the early hours of the day at the hostel.
Aesthetic is present in the smell also with delicious incense smells found all around the place in shops and open spaces.
“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls” Pablo Picasso