What-Makes-You-Happy-Project (2) : Neetu, India

I stay in a permafarm (which tries to experiment different cultivation methods in order to search for sustainable farming and provides alternate way of living) in Auroville, Pondicherry. It is very pleasant and open. People come and go, everyone is perfect for a great profile feature.

I met Neetu when I was about to leave to meet a French lady. She was speaking to Martin, something like: after living Auroville for 3 years, all of sudden, she has discovered that she is strong enough to leave, to return the outside world, to be who she is without being brought down by the judgementalists and she is going to bike from Pondicherrry to Banglore, which the bus journey can take 7 to 8 hours.

As the time goes by, she becomes comfortable with my inquisitive presence and gradually unfolds her stories.

She is 19 years old. Back in 13,14, She was so tangled by the societal/ family pressure: like you have to study, have to excel, have to obtain university degree, then find a good job. Her father was sick then, her mother had to take care of the entire family by herself. She could not smile to her mom even she wished to.

From there, She needed an asylum, an escape, so she chose to study her grade 11 and 12 in Auroville.

Auroville is like an autonomous state, it was created in the 50s. when the land is basically a dessert. A group of international people gather together to live an alternate lifestyle.

Neetu said it has provided a supportive environment for her to grow, to be herself and to find herself, such as she shaved her hair, decided to cycle back home.

The most important lesson for her is to listen to the voice from within, follow the bliss and things will fall into places gradually.

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