A pleasant afternoon and I reach Delhi Ashram. A magnificent and majestic Meditation hall welcomes me. My heart fills with joy. But the memory of the old building which used to be my weekly haunt in the nineties spurs mixed feelings.
Sri Aurobindo’s symbol within a circle can stand alone as a logo, but juxtaposed to The Mother’s symbol it appeared to be an oddity and avoidable distortion. Inside, my jaw dropped on confronting the photographs of the Masters fixed so wide apart.
Ganesh Vandana on Siddhi Day seemed disconcerting, but, however, was enjoyable in the classical style. Then, she sang another Gajanan Stuti. Irritated, I headed for tea.
On asking for a coupon, the gentleman at the reception informed me that tea is free on Darshan Day. A glass in hand I went to the counter in the Dining hall but the lady refused as only lunch and dinner are free but not tea. Offended, I put the glass back and went to the reception again to buy a coupon. When I had tea and snacks finally, the taste obviously was bitter.
The March Past, the evocative Vande Mataram, and the lighting of lamps ceremony brought cheers. Not even 24 persons were present to witness when the function began. And this city is home to 12 million people, alas.
Fearing that the tea episode will fill my meditation, I left, foregoing the free dinner, perforce. [TNM]