Auroville is unlike anywhere that I have visited before. It is quite hard to describe what it is like here. I thought it would be fun to interview two people, one of which I had the honor of working with for 2 weeks and the other a complete stranger. I got the idea from one of my favorite blogs known as “Humans of New York”. It is a blog in which through its people, tells the story of a place and what makes it so unique.
Meet Shrimayee- Delhi, India
“I came to Auroville the first time in 2016 to meet a friend who was working on a solar energy project here. I had no idea that a place like this existed in India, but the moment I came here, I instantly knew that I wanted to come back. Coming from a development sector background, I was always intrigued by the work that was being done in Auroville these past 50 years, especially in community and sustainable development. Also, I was fascinated by the attempt to follow a utopian and egalitarian approach that is followed by people from over 55 countries of the world. Another motivation for me was that I wanted to take a sabbatical form my work to figure out what my next steps are. That is what brought me to Auroville. In January 2018, I applied for an opportunity in Auroville and was here within 6 months. The last four months of staying and working in Auroville have changed me in more ways than I had anticipated before I embarked on this journey. I have grown a lot in terms of skills and knowledge and have become a lot more conscious of myself and of the environment surrounding me. The cosmopolitan culture brought in by people coming from all over the world has given me the opportunity to understand different perspectives. I feel as though I have grown to be healthier, both physically and mentally. I practice yoga and eat right now. Obviously the clean air and plethora of trees have contributed to. Remind you, I come from Delhi… The alternative lifestyle followed here has given me a fresh perspective on life and I’ve started to actually prioritize things that actually matter to me the most. I am able to think more clearly on what I want to pursue further in life”.
Meet Nishant- Delhi, India
“I came to Auroville because I was looking for new opportunities and wanted to work on myself. I have always been a part of theatre. In Delhi, there is a hierarchy in the theatre that I was fed up with. I wanted to be able to try new things, whether I was a senior in the theatre or not. Auroville Theatre Group gave me the opportunities I always wanted: to learn and to explore. My director gave so much to me. She gave me her time. She allowed me as much time as I needed to prepare a character, whether that be one month or two months…in Delhi it is not like that. You usually only get one week or two weeks to prepare a character. To me, that is not acting. Here, I had the opportunity to dig into characters. Being here boosted my confidence. I decided to apply for drama school and was accepted. I leave on Tuesday (January 8th) to go to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. I came to Auroville very clear-minded. I knew why I wanted to be here. I came here to work on myself as an actor. To explore the possibility with the time I was given. With the months I had to prepare characters, I grew so much. Being on stage and being somebody else is just a sheer pleasure. Being here has been life changing for me.”
Written by: Caroline Dougherty, Photos by: Caroline Dougherty