Ingrid Tayde

Born on 8.9.1943 in Hoehr-Grenzhausen, Germany, Ingrid studied music and became a violinist in the Frankfurt Opera Orchestra.

Ingrid visited the Sri Aurobindo Ashram for the first time in 1972. During one of her following visits, she met her future husband Prabhakar Tayde, architect in the then ‘Aurofuture’ architects office. Prabhakar introduced her to Aurovilian Dorothee Hach, as the latter played the flute and during the weeks Ingrid was here they played together. Ingrid also gave a violin performance at the Last School amphitheatre and in the Ashram Hall of Harmony.

She got married to Prabhakar in March 1975, with whom she had a daughter, Mandala.

During all the subsequent years, Ingrid remained in contact with Dorothee, and she and Mandala visited Auroville several times. For many years she was a member of AVI Germany.

At the beginning of the 1990s, Ingrid experienced the first symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis and about a year later she had to give up her career as a musician and her position as violinist in the Frankfurt Opera Orchestra.

She then wanted to come to Auroville permanently, but because of her deteriorating health she could never apply to become Newcomer. She built a house on the Utility Road, opp. Sangamam and named it ‘Inner Peace’. Here she lived with some companions who faithfully looked after her wellbeing till she peacefully passed away on the 19th of this month after being admitted in PIMS for only one day.

From the early 1970s Ingrid was deeply influenced by Sri Aurobindo’s and The Mother’s Yoga and she tried to live the many years of her debilitating illness in Their light.

Arusha

This is to inform the community that Arusha Shridhar Drouin passed away yesterday, 30 November, at the age of 40 after a long battle with cancer. She was a Friend of Auroville and volunteered as a teacher in Deepanam.

She leaves behind her husband, Thomas Drouin and their daughter, Norah.

The cremation took place on December 1st  at the cremation ground in Muthialpet, near Sivaji Ganesan statue.

Our deepest condolences to her family.

OM~

Nilesh

Our good friend and brother, Nilesh Premji Nisar of Arc-en-Ciel community, passed away around midday on Tuesday 5 November 2019, at the Kidney Centre in Pondicherry at the age of 49. He had suffered weak kidneys for quite some time and needed frequent dialysis treatment. His wife Geeta was with him during his transition.

Hailing from Bombay, Nilesh, Geeta and their young son Aditya arrived in Auroville in 2000. He had a clear penchant for business and, after an initially somewhat difficult time in finding his right place, he started working among others with Upasana and Naturellement. He also supported Auroville’s commercial units in discovering new markets and retail outlets across India. The couple’s ‘Natraj’ unit, which makes high-quality food products, has developed a reputation with food connoisseurs and conscious consumers.

Our warmest condolences and strength go to his wife Geeta, who enormously contributed to the setting up of ‘Natraj’, and their two sons Aditya (24) and Harsh (15).

Family passing: Sundar, Maheshwari, Kirthiga and Samicsha

Sundar, Maheshwari, Kirthiga and Samicsha

Auroville is gradually coming to terms with the sorrow and shock of losing four of its residents.

With deep regret, we inform the community that Sundar (Sundharamurthy Murugesan), his wife Maheshwari and their two daughters Kirthiga and Samicsha died in their home in Auromodele around 14 of October 2019. This was discovered on the night of Thursday 17th.

Having come into Auroville respectively via New Creation’s and Ananda’s Fraternity Boarding, and after marriage starting out in Big Boys Boarding for some time, it was from around 2003 that Sundar and Mahesh lived as a young couple with their small children in Surya Nivas community, Auromodèle. Sundar (Sundaramoorthy Murugesan, born 1976) had originally come from Kuilyapalayam, while Mahesh (Maheshwari, born 1978) hailed from Periya Mudhaliyar Chavadi. Both felt at home in Surya Nivas, and daughters Kirthiga (born 2002) and Samichsha (born 2007) grew up with other children in the community and followed Auroville schooling with pleasure. Kirthiga had been a student at New Era Secondary School, and Samichsha attended Transition.

Always being readily available in Surya Nivas for maintenance work, and also being a badminton player and teacher, Sundar’s main work was with Auroville’s Dental Clinic where he worked as technician, general assistant and overall handyman. While Mahesh in her younger years was an ardent basketball player, as a mother she was more reserved, meticulously taking care of her daughters’ appearance and wellbeing. For more than 20 years her day job was at Solar Kitchen, where she was one of the Aurovilians taking care of the fresh salads that needed to be prepared for the daily lunch. She is remembered as a regular, reliable worker.

Around 2011 the family built a house at the other side of Auromodèle and has been living there ever since, while continuing their lives as contributing residents and their daughters growing into lively teenagers.

Now they are no more. It was reported that there were financial problems but, whatever karma prompted their sudden demise, they will be remembered and honoured for their contribution to Auroville’s growth.

In the late afternoon of 18 October, the four bodies were buried at Auroville’s funeral grounds near Adventure with many attending. After members of their families and many close friends gave way to their grief and sorrow, a silence came down on the flower-covered graves, and prayers for our four friends could take shape and ascend with the gently flowing incense.

Our heartfelt love and condolences go out to the parents, brothers, sisters and other family members of Sundar and Mahesh, for whom this is an unspeakable loss. May you find peace.

Samiksha’s birthday in March 2015

Riju (Anatoly Bukov)

Riju (Anatoly Bukov)

Our dear friend and brother Riju Anatoly Bukov left his body in Marika’s House at 10.30am on Sunday 22 September 2019. Having grappled with a weak heart throughout the years, a massive stroke last week Wednesday proved to be too much for him. After a few days at PIMS, he returned to Marika’s. He would have been 75 in a few days’ time.

Before discovering Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Riju, born in Ukraine, was actively involved in the Odessa art world as a playwright, director, poet, sculptor and painter with a clear call towards spirituality. He gradually started translating their works (‘The Mother’ and ‘Sunlit Path’) and visited Auroville in 1991 for the first time. In 1995 he arrived for good, inspiring quite a few friends from Ukraine to follow his lead.

Having lived in various places, Riju soon ended up in Aspiration where he built himself a small house. Functioning as an assistant at Savitri Bhavan for some time, he mainly worked from home, translating, writing, sculpting and sharpening his philosophical understanding by daily getting deeper into The Life Divine which was his stronghold. The sincerity of his yoga helped him deal with personal problems that came his way, and many of the Russian-speaking community revered him for his deep insight in Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy. The Sri Aurobindo Ashram published several compiled translations into Russian that include his name.

Since February 2018, Riju stayed at Marika’s where he visibly lived up and fully enjoyed his days. His daughter Christina, a skilled puppeteer who gave several puppet performances when here, and granddaughter Darya, visited him there as in the years before.

With warmest condolences to his family and close friends, we bid farewell to a brother, an artist, who had not chosen an easy life but who persevered, and is now on the way to the Light.


Kirti Dinkar Gaonkar (Dadima)

Mrs Kirti Dinkar Gaonkar (Dadima)

This is to inform the community that Mrs Kirti Dinkar Gaonkar, the mother of Aurovilian Drupad, passed away here in Auroville on Monday 12 August after midnight at the age of 78. During the short time Dadima (grandmother) was here, she touched the hearts of the Matrimandir workers while working as a volunteer under the Banyan.

Her body is laid to rest at Farewell and can be visited by friends from today, Tuesday,  4 – 7pm, and from 10.30am in the coming days.

Our warmest condolences go out to Drupad.

Ursula (Loose Tuschkewitz)

Ursula, Aspiration Program September 2012

In the early morning of 15 July, our Aurovilian sister and friend Ursula (Loose Tuschkewitz) of Gratitude passed away in PIMS at the age of 69. She had suffered from cancer (lymphoma) affecting her spine. After a short stay at PIMS, treatment in Chennai during March of this year could not prevent progression of paralysis of the legs while cancer progressed. She returned to PIMS, where additionally she got several minor strokes.

Ursula joined us from Germany in 2011 and, having worked as an accountant for a large German carmaker, she was readily welcomed to look after financial matters here in Auroville, half time for City Services, half time for Varuna. Though she could be at times somewhat strict, friends and colleagues much appreciated her often quaint German use of the English language, her great sense of humor, friendly goodwill and hard-working stance in life.

Ursula lived in a small, completely open house in the Gratitude community of which she had grown very fond, and where she will be deeply missed. Cats were another love of hers: she was an internationally well-respected juror for pedigree cats and traveled once a year abroad to attend international cat shows in that capacity.

As one of her doctors mentioned, she was a model of a life-oriented and affirming patient throughout the process.

Now she is free. Auroville’s love and prayers accompany her to the Light.

Ursula’s remains were brought to the Farewell center where friends could bid her goodbye. The cremation took place at Auroville’s mandapam in the afternoon of Tuesday 16 July where friends and colleagues honoured her with flowers and incense, and quietly stood by.

* * *

From Holger Vonhof (Ursula’s cousin):

Last time I met her was in September 18 when she visited Germany. She wanted to see my father, her uncle, who was very ill at that time. When she left, she gave him the instruction to watch out for his health so that she could meet him again this year. Now they have met earlier than both of them thought. Rest in peace.


Pascale Charles

Pascale Charles resided and worked in Auroville between 1990 and ’96. She lived in Dana with Pierre Charles, their first child Samuel and their daughter Isaure, in that beautiful house in Dana designed by Gloria. So she has, albeit in modest measure, contributed to Auroville’s development and received in turn an inner passion, an aspiration that never left her. On 14 July 2019 she left her body, in a hospital in the south of France.

Myriam (Myriam Francoise Marie Noelle Isaac)

In the morning of 28 May, our dear and long-term sister Myriam Francoise Marie Noelle Isaac left her body at the age of 76 due to cancer at her house in Sincerity, surrounded by her children.

Myriam, who was born in France but carried the Swiss nationality, arrived in 1970 at Aspiration at the age of 27 with her little son Pascal, now Gopal. She’s one of those olden-days stalwarts of Auroville who has been always here, working in the background, totally dedicated to the Mother, in a quiet, modest and steady way. Starting off in Aspiration, she worked as a nurse with Dr Sen at the Auroville Health Center that was just starting off. She also was active as Auroville’s midwife and delivered many of our babies at home to be later joined by Hilde. At the same time, she was actively involved in Fraternity’s activities with the villagers living there. By 1977 Myriam was living at the Matrimandir workers’ camp, where she gave birth to little Prema. Three years later Kartik was born. Throughout the eighties she continued her involvement in various village related activities, participated in the community meetings and decisions of that time, and was one of the first ones to work in the Free Store at Bharat Nivas, where she also was active in the then Auroville Community Kitchen there.

Myriam took over the boutique from Claude while it was still at Bharat Nivas and then, since the very onset of the Visitors’ Centre in 1991, she maintained the new Auroville Boutique at the VC from where most of us will remember her. Due to her conscientious and capable management, and deeply concerned care for her staff, she soon became executive, while also functioning as one of the trustees of Artisana Trust.

Having remained at the viewing room for several days, Myriam’s remains were buried at Auroville’s burial grounds in the afternoon of Friday 31 May, with many old-timer friends, acquaintances and family members attending the quiet, serene and very Aurovilian moment of farewell.

Thank you, dear Myriam, for having actually continually lived and worked with us during all those years. Your unobtrusive, soft spoken and sweet manner will not be forgotten, and our prayers accompany you on the way to the Light.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to Gopal, Prema and Kartik, and little grandson Liam.

* * *

Bhaga recalls about Myriam:

When I arrived in Auroville, India, on August 4th 1972, I was already reading the books of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and practising their Integral Yoga, but I knew absolutely nothing of their personal lives – not even that the year 1972 was a big year, the year of Sri Aurobindo’s Birthday Centenary, to be celebrated in many places all over the planet and by many eminent people everywhere besides the disciples.

I soon fell with fever, though, and found myself in one of the Ashram’s Nursing Homes in Pondicherry, ‘Treasure Nursing Home’, a small one, not far from the main Ashram building where the Mother, still alive then, was residing.

In the same Nursing Home another Aurovilian lady happened to be right then also taken care of, who had befriended me from the beginning: Myriam.

On the 15th of August, it is her who told me that there would be a ‘Darshan’, that is, a special moment when the Mother would come out on the balcony of her room so that the crowd that had gathered in the streets down below would be able to see her, and so, to benefit directly from her physical presence and the spiritual inner condition she would be in, if one was able to open oneself inwardly to it.

At the given time, my friend took me with her to a tiny balcony in our Nursing Home, and pointed at a silhouette that had just come out, hardly visible in the distance, on another, bigger balcony: there the Mother stood, and from where we were we also remained standing, but transfixed, our mind suddenly gone silent, our heart beating harder, immobile there with our eyes on that form far away, while time too stood still.

Then the silhouette started moving again and slowly retreated back inside, and within moments, in the street down below her balcony the whole crowd, which like the two of us had spontaneously also fallen absolutely silent during the Darshan, came back to normal life and noise again, although some special softness lingered for long in the atmosphere and within the two of us in the Nursing-Home.

This was my first Darshan, the Darshan given by the Mother for this extraordinary occasion, the Centenary of Sri Aurobindo. At that time I was a total iconoclast, and without any notion that a Darshan could be highly beneficial for you, so on my own I would probably have missed the whole thing. I like to think that Sri Aurobindo himself, from the non-physical dimensions, wanted me not to miss that exceptional moment, and arranged everything, even my illness and that of my friend, so that I would have that so special First Darshan, and with it the inner gifts he wanted to give me, and that are still within me, helping me in every moment of my life.

(Extract from an article posted on my blog for August 15th 2011 –
the year I started it, Bhaga) 


Boris Mabilat

Boris with his son Silas

Boris Mabilat left his body in Paris on 12th. He was 45 years old.

Boris came to Auroville in 1975 at age of 1 with his parents Samata and Cristo. He founded the community Reve where he had a mechanic workshop, taught many young people mechanics and in later years started Rève Guest House. His son Silas was born in Auroville in 2002.

On New Year 2001/2002, a small conflict resulted into a big tragedy. Boris was wrongly accused alongside two young Aurovilians. All three had to leave the country on a Leave India notice in 2005.

Boris found refuge in Paris with his partner Marjorine and his son Silas.

In 2008, the High Court Chennai declared the 3 boys innocent. But Boris was able to return only once, in 2010, on a Tourist Visa. His attempts in later years to return to Auroville to visit his family but his visa was always refused without explanation. It was an irony of fate that when his return to India was finally approved at the highest level, Boris passed away.