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Davide Montemurri

On Sunday 4 July Davide Montemurri, a longtime participant and friend of Auroville, peacefully left his body in his house at Nettuno (Rome). He was 91 years old.

Davide has been in contact with Auroville for many years, especially since he did the ‘L’homme après l’homme’ (Man after Man) movie in collaboration with Boni Menato. The documentary, which was an eye-opener for many, included in-depth conversations with Satprem in Nilgiris in the early eighties. Together with Boni, he also started the Italian Institute for Evolutionary Research.

Davide remained very inspired by Sri Aurobindo’s and Mother’s vision. A friend who was with him during his transition mentioned that he had been preparing himself to leave his body since March this year, and that he passed away peacefully, his eyes open and a smile on his lips. We remember him with fondness and gratitude.

OM~

For an integral version of ‘L’homme après l’homme’ see:

M.Durai

This is to inform the community that in the morning of 26 June, our friend and brother Aurovilian Durai Munusamy passed away at the age of 55 due to suicide near his house in Agni. Hailing from Edeyenchavadi village, Durai had been with us since ’92 and worked at Savitri Bhavan as garden supervisor.

His remains were cremated in the afternoon of the same day.

Thanking Durai for having been and worked with us so long, we extend our deepest condolences and strength to his wife Uma Lakshmi and their children, 12-year old twins Lithika and Rohith.

OM~

Jothi

With a heavy heart we inform the community that Aurovilian A. Jothi passed away at Jipmer hospital in the afternoon of 28 May.

Jothi joined Auroville in 2005 after marrying Ganesh. A happy spirit, she worked at FarmFresh for 5 years, then at PTDC for five years, and the past 1.5 years at Sunship.

Since 2018 she had been suffering from an auto-immune disease. Two weeks ago she contracted Covid19 and was admitted to Jipmer. Her body was cremated on 29th afternoon in Karuvadikuppam.

Our condolences go out to her husband Ganesh. Their daughter Sagarika and son Avinesh.

OM~

 

Nolly Senden

In the afternoon of Monday 17 May, long-term Dutch Aurovilian Nolly Senden, who had been taken two days before to JIPMER because of serious Covid symptoms, passed away there due to a stroke. She was 85. Since January she had been recovering in Mahalakshmi Home from a leg injury, and after she started showing symptoms and was tested positive, she was brought back to her house in Samasti, taken care of by a qualified nurses & doctor team. From there she eventually was taken to JIPMER. She had not taken any vaccination.

At the end of the eighties, Nolly started frequently coming to Pune, India, to be trained as a qualified Iyengar hatha yoga teacher, and started visiting Auroville at the same time. Having completed the study, in ’92 she came for good, just in time to make sure that the then budding Pitanga Hall was foreseen with a Yoga Hall. Thank you, Nolly! She also built a Pitanga caretaker house on the side, where she lived during several years.

From the moment the hall was ready, she would be seriously, persistently teaching hatha yoga to increasingly large groups of eager residents, at times gaining the ‘General’ nickname through her no-nonsense, commanding approach. Also, in her work as executive of SEWA, as well as in her dealing with the many workers who worked with her during the years, she would show her sternness, dedication and, at the same time empathy and compassion. After suffering a mild stroke, Nolly stopped teaching yoga and moved to Sri Ma for some five years to then eventually build her final house at the outskirts of Samasti.

During the months that she remained in Mahalakshmi Home, where she was fully taken care of and 24 hours a day attended to, this strong, no-nonsense and independent woman may have received and enjoyed the love, warmth and sympathy she may have quietly longed for.

Thank you, Nolly, for having been with us, may you be in peace. Our warmest condolences go out to her sisters and brother in Holland.

OM~

Renzo Pezzato

In the evening of Sunday 16 May, Italian Aurovilian Renzo Pezzato, left his body at the age of 67 at JIPMER having been taken there because of high Covid symptoms. He had been in ICU for several days.

Renzo came from Treviso, Italy, where he worked for years as Head of one of Italy’s Electrical Departments, after which he became quite proficient in glassblowing (Murano Glass).

In 2019 he came to Auroville and was accepted as Aurovilian the year after. Initially working at Matrimandir gardens and being a very technical person, he gradually gravitated towards AuroService, at which unit he took up the drip irrigation arrangement for the City Center. He lived in Vikas and people who worked with him knew him as a gentle, kind person with a strong sense of service, certainly for people in need.

Thank you, Renzo, for having been with us; we will meet again.

OM~

 

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~

 

Werner Stoff

In the afternoon of Monday May 3rd, Aurovilian Werner Stoff left his body at the age of 81 in his Prayatna home after a struggle with cancer. Some of his friends were with him.

Werner was a German architect, a Freemason and had lived for a while in Bali, married to a Balinese woman. Later the couple moved to Germany. After the death of his wife, Werner came in 2001 to Auroville and became Aurovilian three years later.
By that time he was a renowned architect of 70’s residential villas with a high ‘James Bond’-content and office buildings with a design language ‘without corners’. He was also the designer of the iconic Stoff Nagel candlestick holder in the 1960s.

In Auroville he is known for his daring project of transforming the community Prayatna into one of the most densely populated communities of the city, with plans agreed on by Roger Anger for up to 250 people. It would be a ‘Gesammtkunstwerk’ or “total concept where the inhabitants agreed to live in the architectural art work in exchange for interactions with the designer in order to fashion their living space according to their needs, but always in line with the overall design language and style of the total project”.

Werner was a secluded person and very strictly living according to his project’s principles. As it was not easy to find people who were willing to adhere to the concept, eventually only the main building consisting of an office-cum-demo space, as well as 2 spaces for the homeopathic clinic and ca. 12 living spaces were built in Prayatna in his ‘no corners’-design language.

At the same time, Werner also designed abstract sculptures, many new objects for his AuroDesign unit as well as various structures around Auroville, such as housing in Aranya, a temple in Jawadhi hills and Kallallipattu, design for the new Svaram campus and the cremation space at Auroville’s cremation grounds near Adventure, where his remains will be cremated in the afternoon of 6 May.

Thank you, Werner, for your high vision of how Auroville could be. May you rest in beauty and peace.

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)

Parvathi Jaiswal

In the very early morning of Friday 23 April, Smti Parvathi Jaiswal, mother of Giridev and Himal, passed away due to a stroke. She was 90 years old and had been living in Ami with her sons and grandchildren, who will sorely miss her.

Parvathi’s remains were buried at Auroville’s burial grounds the same day. Our warmest condolences go out to the family.

OM~

Ellen

Ellen Eckelmann had an epileptic crisis on the 28th of March and two days later she left her body in her New Community home in Certitude. She was surrounded by her loved ones, her friends, the animals and bird song she loved so much. She was 79 and had been unwell since a motorcycle accident in June 2020.

Ellen born in Berlin, Germany, came to Auroville in 1981 and was involved in the difficult situation of Auroville at the time. She had an export unit, brand Cocoon, and supplied residents with a range of finely tailored clothing items, manufactured from her New Community tailoring workshop; after which she went into theatre production resulting in a varied collection of well executed performances by Aurovilians.

During that period, the large New Community building with its various rooms, was transformed into a guesthouse. In October 2020, a new unexpected project took place at New Community. Patricia, introduced by Miriam, her mentor at that time, suggested to help Ellen to enliven the place. The idea was to welcome Newcomers, offering them a space of listening and sharing, as a support to accompany them in their Newcomer process; benevolence, mutual help and openness were the qualities selected to explore in New Community. The project was born. Then Veronese completed the team, and the Housing Service gave it its stamp as a Newcomer Community. Rapidly, some Newcomers interested in this community way of living, moved into the apartments of New Community. Ellen, intensely grateful and happy with the idea, could now let go, but her health condition started to shift in another way. All the members of New Community gave time to support and care for her.

Despite her persistent state of fatigue and Alzheimer’s, the relationship built with her was beautiful. We mutually supported each other; the new residents by our presence and care, and Ellen by her openness, her beauty, her inner light and unconditional love which she would, without fail, give us day after day. Her beauty and tenderness filled our hearts.

Ellen’s remains were cremated at the Auroville Cremation Grounds in the late afternoon of Sunday 4 April. Our warmest condolences go out to daughter Miriam, (ex)husband Thomas and other good friends.

OM~