Auroville, then and now - Mixed media on paper

On top, is the original greenery when it was unpopulated and unpolluted. Below, Mother’s Matrimandir and the many people who seek blessings/enlightenment and other solace

We went to Auroville and Pondi with great expectations of seeing the ashram and the studios where various artists work in pottery, painting, textiles etc. We came back utterly disappointed. This work reflects that. There is a really huge banyan tree there which has been growing for over one hundred years. It has its own multiple roots which keep developing into trees in their own right but under the link of the mother tree. An awesome sight to see as width wise it must be easily the width of any one of Mumbai's buildings in the Fort area. Hence the top half of the painting represents the greenery which used to be there in that area before man came and spoilt it. The tree is the essence of that greenery. The tree is printed in colour on a film. Different techniques have been used for the greenery. The bottom half represents today. Many parts have lost their green cover, the human populace has spread all over. Unlimited unchecked construction. The golden orb (only those who are devotees can enter and get spiritual guidance) is a large crystal sits in regal splendour by itself miles from anywhere. One walks a kilometre in shaded path to reach it, then only to see it from a distance. It appears that Auroville and Pondicherry favour the foreigners to the locals Indians in many respects. Hence this part of the work shows the multitude of foreigners who come for spiritual enlightenment, peace, happiness etc all going towards Auroville. There is no rigid route, its ethereal.