India 2015

What was Israel Gev’s Hydrology project in Auroville?

In 1982 I spent six months in India and Nepal. It was part of Dalit and my two-year-long hitchhiking trip. Next week, I will travel to meet my brother, Israel Gev, in South India’s spiritual center – Auroville. In its early years, the Aurovillian cooperative debated how to shift its desert’s microclimate into an oasis. Thus, they commissioned Israel, who had earned his Ph.D. in Hydrology, to identify which tree species would most likely create the desired microclimate shift. Nowadays, 30 years later, Auroville is a green oasis. Israel has been visiting regularly since and is somewhat of a local celebrity. We are also going to scuba dive at the Andaman Islands. And later, I will be joined by Danna Sigal on a South India Tour. We will explore two states: Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It will be fascinating to see how this region has changed from my first trip in 1982.

For the Traveler, a poem by John O’Donohue

When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.

A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.

My reading recommendations

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts

The Far Field: A Novel, by Madhuri Vijay

Midnight’s Children, by Salman Rushdie

The Secrets Between Us, by Thrity Umrigar

Sea of Poppies, Ibis Trilogy Book 1, by Amitav Ghosh

River of Smoke, Ibis Trilogy, Book 2, by Amitav Ghosh

Flood of Fire, Ibis Trilogy, Book 3, by Amitav Ghosh

The Story of India, by Michael Wood

Behind the Beautiful Forevers, by Katherine Boo

The Last Jews of Kerala, by Edna Fernandes

An Area of Darkness, by V. S. Naipaul

Gun Island, by Amitav Ghosh