- It takes a village to raise a child - African saying
- Nature is our best teacher
- we are the world, we are the ones to make a brighter day!..

- Natural farming, food forest

- We dig our grave with our teeth

- Freedom of expression is my birth right

- Freedom of speech comes with great responsibility

- I become what I see in myself. All that thought suggests to me, I can do; All that thought reveals to me, I can become. This should be man’s unshakeable faith in himself, because God dwells in him.

- The Mother said - it is not this OR that, it is this AND that
- Life is for living not to understand
‎"Sometimes you can't see the forest through the trees."

Monday, August 31, 2009

Lumière's version of the Wolf, the Sheep, and the Cabbage

It’s a logic problem; I’m sure of it. It’s like the wolf, the sheep, and the cabbage who need to cross the river but the canoe can take only two at a time, and the wolf eats sheep, and the sheep eats cabbage. What to do?

Except instead of a wolf, a sheep, and a cabbage, we have three batches of baby chickens.

The first are the beloved Lumière chickens, birthed in June and raised happily all summer. Ok, so one got picked off by a mongoose (Mamma Cas) and the other a dog (Beatrice)… but we are still have two growing chicks (Thelma and Louise) to be terribly proud of. And they have one protective mother.

Then we have a batch of 10 chicks died in paint that were given to me as a get well gift. One was eaten by the cat and another trampled or pecked to death, but the rest remain. They have no one to protect them.

And most recently we’ve added four gorgeous Grace babes, that have the awkward situation of two mother hens.

For housing, we have a hen house that’s loosely divided by a bamboo mat, and a bucket with a basket.

We started with the two mammas and the Grace babes in the basket, but the Thelma and Louise’s mother kept pecking the unprotected colored chics to death. Literally.

So we moved the Grace chicks to the hen house and put the colored chics in the basket, but the two moms are pecking each other blind.

And Thelma and Louise are simply way to big for a basket.

Anyone particularly talented in solving puzzles?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Forest vs. Farm

All summer people have mistakenly called Lumiere a farm. "It's NOT a farm," I correct them. "It's a forest." We just happened to chase cows and listen to cocks all night.

But today I took a moment to consider all the changes that occurred since my arrival in June--on the animal front alone. At this moment we have:
  • Four puppies
  • Thirty chickens
  • One cat
  • Two ducks
  • Cow invaders
  • Three residents
  • Two workers
  • Tons of visitors
  • Plans for a baby goat, a piglet, and who knows what else
  • A garden ready for real growth
  • Trees with so many fruits we're figuring out where/whether to sell or give the excess
Maybe--just MAYBE--it's time to start calling Lumiere a forest farm.

Beautiful Additions

Their voices were hurried with excitement when they called for me. “Catherine!” they shouted, like two giddy schoolboys. “Catherine, the eggs are hatching!”

Sure enough, tiny slimy beasts were emerging from beneath the two hens guarding the eggs from Grace. As of 1:27pm, we have four new additions to the forest farm… They are surely darker and different than the previous batch of hatchlings; will they grow up to have rainbows in their wings?

Welcome to the world, Grace chics!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Book 6 - The Book of Kin

You are about to meet the author's son—raised naturally in the forest by his mother, Anastasia. Rest assured, you have never met a five-year-old like this! This young boy's profound intelligence forces Megré to take a totally fresh look at education, science, and history and… well… just about everything.
In The Book of Kin, Anastasia will lead you on a shocking rediscovery of pages of humanity's history that have been distorted or kept secret for thousands of years. She sheds new light on the causes of war, oppression and violence in the modern world, and guides us toward preserving the wisdom of our ancestors, so that we may pass it on to future generations.
Series translator, John Woodsworth, became so excited when he read the original text of this book, he began working on it day and night. Dr Leonid Sharashkin, the Series editor, said, "It's hard to believe that a human being could have written this book."
Deeply touching, beautifully heart-warming, and utterly life confirming, this book is another sparkling gem in the brilliant Ringing Cedars Series.
The Universe itself is a thought, a thought from which was born a dream, which is partially visible as matter. … You are infinite, you are eternal, within you are your dreams of creation.— Anastasia

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

For the love of Trash

Lumière, a Greenbelt forest, strives to be as eco-friendly as possible. That said, we still make waste. Earlier this summer we had the trash removed, and since then, we’ve vowed to be better at managing our garbage. Thus, we’ve started sorting everything into clear categories: Paper, Plastic, Metal, Glass and Everything Else. Trouble is, we’ve only got two barrels for five categories of goods.

We’ve been gathering the trash according to the categories but leaving them fairly open and exposed in piles where garbage cans would eventually go. The challenge was getting garbage bins from Pondi to Lumière.

Today, however, seemed the perfect opportunity to settle the matter. We left Pondi with a light shopping load, unlike most other days. We were four people on two bikes, leaving enough free hands carry the bins. So we stopped and purchased three blue barrels of exactly the right size.

Four free hands doesn’t mean it’s easy to take three giant trash bins home, especially when the bins are covered in god-knows-what and the road to be traveled is the ECR. Somehow, we managed:

We seriously have way too much fun.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Intruders & Defenders

I love our animals.

These days the boys sleep in the capsule. It’s got electricity and decorations and is truly a fine place to be. But it’s also damn exposed to the wilderness.

This morning, Gopal was barking. Gopal barks a lot. As usual—as in every morning—Muthu nudged the dog gently and told him to shut up. But this was no usual morning.

Meanwhile, the cat—who has taken to dwelling on the capsule roof—was particularly active. Biscotti too received a scolding.

So the animals descended but didn’t leave the boys in peace. Gopal kept barking barking barking, and began to growl and whine. Biscotti started hissing. Sleepy as they were, the boys realized there was something out there.

Slowly Muthu emerged from the mosquito net. What could it be? He rubbed his weary eyes and looked over the capsule’s rail…

There stood a cobra, huge and angry, aimed at the capsule but cut off by the dog and the cat. His hood was the size of two hands pressed together; its body thick as a man’s forearm. Big as was, side by side our Lumière guards kept the snake at bay.

Only when Muthu came down and started moving did the cobra finally leave, slithering off into the woods from which he emerged.

But because of Biscotti and Gopal, the boys didn’t awake to a surprise, no chickens were lost, and Julie nor I died of a heart attack upon leaving the house to make tea in the morning.

wind generator

An exercise ball which i borrowed from aurovici to help Perumal get back to shape was lost.
As i borrowed it i figured it was my chance to return it to him. They had a size that was right for me and the one for him was out of stock.
Check another store..which i did today. On entering Canadian Tire, to my right was a wind generator, the same one i have been looking and wanting for several years! yes, right there staring down at!
You get what you want. right?
i mean it is not yet in my possession but now atleast i know how much it costs and where it is available.
Being alternative and having sufficient winds on the land that tops it..would be perfect in the rainy season when the solar panels have less sun the wind generator would do the job!
so excited, i wish i had the money to get it right now on my return to Auroville, would be a great gift for the land!
i like how the universe works! thank you

Monday, August 24, 2009

RIP, Baby Chick

I’m sorry to report that after only three days in the great wide open, we’re down to three baby chics.

Her life was too short. From the storeroom bin to a basket to a chicken coop, too much of her life was spent behind screened walls. Only recently did she get a true taste of Lumière—of the wind chimes fluttering in the breeze, of the red earth beneath her feet, of the endless nooks and crannies nature has placed for the rest of us to discover. But she was a good chic. She loved her mamma and tolerated being handled by us. She didn’t mind that the cat wanted to eat her and the dog particularly enjoyed chasing her mother (because when Gopal chases Mamma Hen, Mamma Hen’s husband chases him, and apparently he find that fun).

Sadly, before she could grow into her true potential, a mongoose snatched her from the safety of her loving home, leaving her sisters, mother and the rest of the Lumière community no choice but to mourn her death.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Of Spices & Hand Drills

You learn a lot living on a forest farm. Especially if the forest farm runs on alternative energy.

For example, I never knew how to build a spice rack. Now I know: Find people who know how to build spice racks, and convince them to come over and build it for you.

The twist comes when they ask for a power tool and you have to explain that there isn’t enough energy to run a power tool for a long time and to keep the fridge on, and frankly the fridge is more important than facilitating the spice-rack-creation-process. After all, we have a hand drill.

Of course, I said that before I tried the hand drill.

So, I learned another lesson: humility. Protected by a pillow and using every ounce of energy in my body, I tried and tried to drill sufficient holes in the cement wall with the hand drill. (Using it on the termite-ridden wood was much easier, to say the least.)

Then I learned that men are in fact stronger than women, as Bunty—who kindly volunteered to assist (ahem, I mean, to make) the spice rack—was able to drill a few more holes with relative ease. By “relative” I mean in comparison to me.

And then I learned that some things are worth wasting electricity on, for after Bunty and I spent and entire afternoon making and hanging one shelf, Muthu and Dean made and hung two more in approximately twenty minutes… and the fridge didn’t shut off.

At the end of the day the story’s still the same: I’m a proud owner of fancy new spice shelves. :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Chicks Day Out

It’s a proud day for parents when their babies make the first move out of their lives. Usually this happens on the first day of school. In the case of forest farm dwellers and their baby chickens, it happens when the chicks finally leave the coop.

Every morning I open the door to throw food in. Without fail, Mamma Hen flies at the opening with a fierce determination to free herself and her babies. Today, instead of fighting to restrain her, I simply left the door open.

But no one came out.

I walked away, waited. Nothing.

So I found Muthu.

Muthu knows more about living on land than I could ever hope to. Hell, he grew up here. I grew up in suburbia. He suggested we get into the coop and chase them out.

It was a ridiculous affair.
But the conclusion is the same: Our four baby chicks are free on the farm, roaming Lumière, exposed to the great wide open!

Natural farming

The good old days!
We thought that the green revolution was the solution. it helped for a moment..but with lots of side effects. no good!
Plenty inspiration from natural farming, Masanobu Fukuoka, food forestry, you name it..
some links:

Subhash Palekar

Monday, August 17, 2009

Book 5 - Who are we?

The Ringing Cedars Series is creating a wave of excitement that is sweeping the globe with positive, life-transforming messages of pure love energy from the beautiful Anastasia.
Filled with her profound practical wisdom and powerful creative imagery, Who Are We? reveals more of her remarkable dreams.

You will be stunned by Anastasia's vision of the future in which she exposes the extraordinary process by which all armaments—from nuclear missiles to handguns—will be removed from the planet in the days to come.

Anastasia paints images of exquisite beauty, abundance, peace and harmony—images which will fill you with renewed hope and inspire you to begin creating a very different life for yourself—one far better than anything you might have previously imagined.

Full of unexpected twists and turns, and with a surprise ending, Who Are We? will have you fully engaged from the very first word.

And if you, my dearest, should find yourself scattered
across the unfathomable Universe as little specks of dust,
still refusing to believe, then from these specks of dust wandering through eternity I shall begin to gather you up.

— Anastasia

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Picture your most intimidating horror movie. This may have been a scene from it.

There we were, driving home on the motorcycle from a nice dinner at a friend’s house. The paths through the forest a thick with dust, a red earth maze that takes us home. It’s dark in that forest; only the stars above and the headlamp light the way. We were weaving around corners, taking in the scent of the trees, when—whoosh!—a bug bounced of the light. Then—bang!—another. And another and another.

“What are they?!” Monica shouted in fear.

“I don’t know!” I hollered through the thickening cloud of wings that surrounded us. “Maybe moths?!” I was reminded of an X-Files episode where bugs ate people alive.

The fluttering of wings filled our ears and we closed our mouths and eyes in terror. Blackness, with nothing but bugs! Where’s the end of the cloud? How can we possibly continue driving like this?

Somehow, miraculously, we escaped the swarm and found our way home.

We were shell shocked but received warmly by Julie, who was making us all our last cup of tea for the day. She sat us down, stroked our wing-ridden hair, spoke softly to solicit the story from our frantic lips. But just as we started speaking, we noticed a flicker in the shadow. And another and another.

Wings and moth-like creatures had found us in the forest, and their numbers were multiplying faster than when we were on the bike.

What to do?!

We abandoned half-filled tea mugs on the table and sprinted inside. Within the safety of the cement walls, we figured we’d play cards until falling asleep.

The bugs had other ideas.

They flew into the screens, buzzing and fluttering about. Wings were everywhere. They covered every surface of the house trying desperately to find their way in.

We cut the lights.

They continued to plague the screens, but only a few dozen found there way inside.

Somehow, we all managed to fall asleep. And this is what we woke up to:

Friday, August 14, 2009


If you've read Anastasia, The Ringing Cedars of Russia and The Space of Love, and you think you've "got it"… Book 4, Co-creation, will cause you to think again. In this book, Anastasia's pure energy vibrates at a much higher pitch. Co-creation is vast in its scope of vision and powerfully poetic. You will actually feel yourself changing as you read.

Through words and images that sing to your soul, Anastasia deepens your understanding and raises your sights to a whole new level. This is the story of creation as you have never heard it told.

Now—as Anastasia reveals the Divine blueprint—we see that we are truly masters of our own destiny and that our choices affect not only ourselves but also the entire Universe. Full of astonishing revelations, this book may just turn your world upside-down. Co-creation offers practical steps, grounded in ancient wisdom, which you can use today to create powerful positive change in your life and simultaneously guarantee the future happiness of all mankind.

I shall tell you about co-creation, Vladimir, and then everyone will be able to provide an answer to his own questions. Please listen carefully and write about the Creator's great co-creation. Listen and try to understand with all your Soul the aspirations of the Divine dream.

— Anastasia

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Because every life should have a fighting chance

I’m not much of a cat person. I prefer creatures that like me to those that use me for food and water. But Biscotti’s a nice cat. At least he cuddles.

I decided I like him around because he catches scorpions. So far, there’s no proof that he actually does catch scorpions… in fact, we were alerted to the latest scorpion invader by Gopal, who seemed to think it was a toy. (On a side note, Muthu then decided to catch the scorpion in a glass jar, and its now living in our kitchen. Yuck.) But Monica’s cat in Texas hunted scorpions, and that’s enough for me.

Unfortunately, cats apparently are indiscriminant hunters, and this morning Biscotti decided to attack a squirrel’s nest. It was a quiet affair; no particular noise stood out from the others as I walked Gopal through the Land. But as we neared the kitchen, the chirping grew louder and more desperate. Sitting proudly on the path was Biscotti with a baby squirrel in its mouth.

What to do but try to rescue it?

So suddenly we’re caring for a baby squirrel. How? By wrapping it in gauze and feeding it watered-down milk from a syringe. Chances of survival are slim… but it’s always good to hope.

We Are Family

There’s a lot of life on the Land these days. There’s the wildlife: jackals, mongeese (or mongooses?), birds all of all shapes and sizes and colors, and more varieties of lizards and frogs than I’ve ever seen. Then there’s the dog. Twelve chickens and ten eggs ready to hatch. A cat. And of course me, Monica, Muthu and Julie; and I’m getting a new puppy, Monica wants another cat, Muthu’s all about ducks, and Julie’s requested a black baby goat. Plus, all of us have friends who visit.

For the most part we all get alone. Sometimes the dog chases the chickens, and the cat constantly brings home dead lizards and other “presents.” And sometimes the dog plays with the cat, who responds by hissing and clawing.

Today the cat brought us a new friend. Granted, the cat wanted to eat the new friend, but when I heard the baby squirrel crying in the cat’s clutches, I had to intervene. The baby’s uninjured, but so young his eyes aren’t open. And none of us have the heart to end its life.

So with a newly purchased syringe and some watered-down milk, and we’re suddenly nursing a two-inch baby to life.

Survival rates are slim, but we’re optimistic.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fire & the Watchman

The Old Man was on holidays, and I was too busy to walk the Land daily. But this week he returned, and I found time. And this morning, we both discovered something tragic.

In the back corner of the forest, someone must have been roasting cashews and—woosh!—fire spread. The ground is charred black. The trees are dead. Their leaves are crispy golden brown.

I came to the kitchen and asked Muthu what to do. “What can you do?” he said. I sighed and consoled myself that fires are purging and breed better life.

The Old Man came back to the kitchen and almost cried. He cursed the fools that did this. He swore and sulked. He got angry with himself for being out, and angrier with the world for punishing the Land like this.

That’s what I realized that as much as I love Lumière, it’s the Tata's everything.

The Old Man is a remarkably spiritual person too. We returned from the Nadi readers without ever informing him that that’s where we were going, and he not only told us where we went, he guessed at our fortune. He recently did a puja for a woman who was infertile and now she’s three months pregnant. He’s often whisked away to work in the temples of villages near and far. He is something special.

When realizing his power, Muthu asked him why he works on the Land instead of in the temples—or at least why he doesn’t take Sundays off. “Because they [those responsible for Lumière] appreciate me, and they need me. And the Land needs me. So I stay, and I work.”

No wonder the fire broke his heart. Part of his baby’s hurting, and he wasn’t around to protect it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Book 3 - The Space of Love

Nothing you have read in Books 1 and 2 has prepared you for Book 3—The Space of Love.

News of Anastasia's powerful abilities has reached people in high places. Someone wants her captured. As Megré attempts to return to the forest—where Anastasia has borne him a son—he finds his way blocked.

A helicopter hovers over her glade as armed agents close in. But these men with machine guns flee in horror when Anastasia gives them a terrifying taste of hell—and it's far worse than your worst nightmare!

Then… discover a school in the forest, designed, built and decorated entirely by students 7 to 17 years old, without adult supervision. Here students cover a 10-year math syllabus in just one year, while learning three foreign languages, martial arts and ballroom dancing. They come and go as they please, and their parents pay no fees. With a waiting list in the thousands, this school completely redefines the word "education".

Enter The Space of Love—you'll emerge recharged and excited by its remarkable revelations, with a totally new appreciation for life and all that your future holds.

Love dissolved in Space for one can touch the hearts of many.
So that close to a loved one there will always be a Space of Love.
This is the essence of Love, this is its designated purpose.

— Anastasia

Monday, August 10, 2009

All the beautiful...chickens

I’ve been talking about stealing chickens for a long time.

It was a joke, mostly. I wouldn’t steal chickens… even though I hear it was common practice for kids in the earliest days of Auroville. But the chickens at Lumière are all so…boring. White and brown. Dull.

Whenever I go to the office, I’m taunted. I dismount the Unicorn and find myself surrounded by such gorgeous cocks. Full of vigor and color. Teasing and tempting me with their beauty. It’s not fair.

I tell people about the pretty chickens and they think I’ve finally lost it.

I fantasized about how to do it. Could I catch a cock and bring it home in a Small Steps bag? Would I order a taxi? How do I ensure he’s the one making babies? Lock him in the coop with a hen or two? Or is it better to ask the community caretakers for baby chickens? They’d fit better on the bike.

But then it hit me: I’ll take the eggs. So in the most civilized manner possible, I waited for one of the Lumière hens to lay eggs (which we immediately took for delicious breakfasts), and purchased the eggs of beautiful chickens from the office’s community. And without Mamma Hen realizing what happened, she suddenly has ten eggs to hatch, and I’ll (hopefully) have ten beautiful birds on the Land.

Yup. It’s official. I have lost it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Finally a Fridge!

Some things are worth fighting for. Simple as that.

In my life, these days, it’s a fridge.

I begged for it. I asked everyone I knew to buy me a drink, to send me some cash, to do whatever they kindly would to help me on my quest for cold water. Luckily I have incredible and generous friends and family. Within two months, I had the funds for a solar refrigerator.

So I marched to Auroville Energy Products’ Solar Shop. “Hi sir, I’d like to buy a fridge!” And they showed me this giant, white, sparkling machine. “All this?”

He opened the monstrosity. I laughed. Inside there was a shoebox worth of space.

“Yes, it’s smaller than you’d think, but what you put inside will be cold.” That I couldn’t argue with.

The price tag naturally started to change as soon as it came time to pay the bill. “Extra tax.” “Extra installation.” “Extra everything.” I held strong and did what I could. They promised to deliver on Friday.

Thursday I couldn’t hold my excitement. We cleaned everything: all washed floors, put the pillowcases in the machine, put the pillows in the sun. We rearranged the entire kitchen to make room for the newest addition.

Friday it came. And they asked for 3000rs to install it.

Naturally I said explained that installation was free, and they promised to come back Saturday after confirming with the Boss.

Saturday they didn’t come.

Monday I called. They said they’d come Tuesday.

Tuesday morning, they came and said: “Where’s the hole? You have to dig a hole for us to install wires.”

And that’s when I lost it. It takes an awful lot to set me off, but when the switch is flipped, I’m a monster. I cursed and manipulated and laughed and scared all the locals away. But they still didn’t dig my hole, and I still wanted the fridge.

So we worked:

Now, after a long and painful process, we have a fridge.

And life is already a million times better.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Muthu, my savior

I was starting to lose it. The only-Tamil-speaking-workers that didn’t understand directions (or chose not to), the neighbors that had no respect for boundaries, the land and animals that I had no clue how to care for.

Then my knight in shining armor arrived.

Muthu is an Aurovilian child which means, above all else, he just gets it. He looks at the Land and knows what to do. So with his direction and enthusiasm, we are gardening, growing, nurturing, etc. And finally—FINALLY—the workers know what to do.

Plus, when I drive home and lose my sandals in mud puddles, he goes to rescue them the next day. ;)

Much more to come…