Kailash Jhavery

Kailash Jhavery passed away at the age of 94.

Kailash was an Ashramite whom the Mother had appointed in the early seventies as secretary of the Sri Aurobindo Society’s UNESCO section in which capacity she wrote a booklet on Cultural Pavilions for the same. It became an important historical document as part of her task was to promote the ideas of Auroville’s International Zone.

She also wrote ‘Auroville and Education’ and other papers, and was quite instrumental for Auroville in the early years. Many long-term residents know her, and Richard Pearson, with whom she often came to the site.

OM~

 

Manoj Das

We would like offer our homage and reminiscences to Shri Manoj Das, a senior sadhak at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, who passed away on the 27th of April.

Many of us knew Manoj Da through his various talks and personal contacts in Auroville. Manoj Da came to the Ashram in 1963 and since then was teaching at the Ashram School. Behind his calm and sweet presence was a great literary stalwart of modern India. He wrote in English and Odia short stories, articles and novels. In his home state Odisha, his writings became an instrument for many to get connected with the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. A household name there, he is considered a legend of Odia literature. He is also known as one of the greatest story tellers of modern India. Many awards and recognition came his way, including Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan, the highest civilian awards of India. Despite his great achievements he was a sadhak first and foremost. While telling stories he was a child talking to children. The connection was instant and the impact lasted, for many, a lifetime. Auroville held a special meaning for him which brought him regularly here to either give talks or meet friends.

Manoj Da always remained humble, always approachable, always smiling, always ready with a story with a deep message to connect to a higher consciousness. His presence will be deeply missed.

On behalf of all residents of Auroville we offer our homage to the great servitor of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.

The Working Committee
(Anu, Arun, Chali, Hemant, Partha, Sauro, Srimoyi)

Paolo Tommasi

This is to inform the community that our dear friend and brother Paolo Tommasi passed away in JIPMER on 16 July at around 11.15am due to complications of the Covid19 virus. He had just become 92 years old.

Paolo, born in Ancona, Italy, and recognised in the fifties as a leading figure and point of reference in the world of art and performance in Europe and further abroad, was an architect gifted with a true passion for architectural interiors, design, theatre, scenography (such as in Milan’s La Scala Theatre) and painting; his exhibitions travelled worldwide.

Always a searcher, he was in his thirties called to India, where he met Mother at the age of 38 and felt he had found what he had been seeking. This was just before Auroville’s inauguration in ’68, and a few years before the concept of Matrimandir would emerge. In this very process Paolo would, in his reserved and reflective manner, play an unobtrusive but significant role. He later would also propose elaborate designs for the twelve gardens around Matrimandir.

While continuing his artistic activities abroad, from 2010 onwards Paolo came to live in Pondicherry for increasingly longer periods as “In no other place do I feel my soul reawaken and do I achieve that inner work that gives meaning to my life: becoming more aware of myself and the mystery that surrounds us.” From time to time he would visit his friends in Auroville and Matrimandir.

In his Pondy house, he would continue painting his often strikingly expressive images,  which were published in the book ‘Immagini sull’Invisibile’ – ‘Images on the Invisible’ and exhibited in Savitri Bhavan in 2016. The biography  ‘Alla Ricerca dell’Armonia’ –  ‘In Search of Harmony’  follows him throughout his life.

At the end of June, Paolo was tested positive for the Coronavirus and has been treated for the same, remaining stable for the first weeks on mask ventilation. On 15 July intubation was needed as his condition rapidly deteriorated. In the morning of Friday 17 July his remains were cremated in JIPMER’s crematorium; due to Covid19 restrictions only 4 people were allowed, one of them was from Matrimandir, Auroville. May he be in peace.

We profoundly and lovingly thank Paolo for his creative vision and the support extended by him for the Soul of the City,

 Jay MA~

A 5-minute clip on Paolo, Piero and Gloria 
visiting the Matrimandir in 2009:

The interview that Francois Gautier made with Paolo, filmed by Olivier Barot, in which Paolo is speaking of his life, of building Matrimandir, the Mother, Satprem, the yoga and many other things of interest: