Kuilapalayam

Go to Kuilapalayam village, between the international community of Auroville and the Bay of Bengal.

Rent a motorbike or bicycle.  Ride around this tiny place, a heartbeat of Indian culture nestled between the outlying mini-communities of Auroville itself.

Watch the intersection of international cultures and Indian culture, which isn’t always pretty.  But it’s important to consider how this fusion makes you feel.

Look at the stray dogs and how they are treated.  Look at the goats, the cats, the cows, and the small owls darting between the branches of the banyan trees.

Find the statue of Kali killing Shiva (pictured above from 1999).  Is it still there?  Is it as broken as it was when I saw it last in 2005?  What does the great goddess Kali mean to you?  What do you think this statue means to the village?

Sit at one of the tea stands and drink chai.  Try the local vadai and dosa.  The rice and sauces for lunch.

What can this place teach you about where you come from?  What can it teach you about the things you’ve never seen, other than right here, right now?

Write here, by the roadside, until you need a change, and then drive or walk down to Repos Beach, a tiny community of Auroville tucked away between the coast road and the sea.  And then write there, too, with your feet half-buried in the sand.

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