The Mother and Sri Aurobindo
Integral Yoga in Their Own Words, One Quote at a Time!
Indian Coffee House
In Pondicherry, from Ashram, when you go beyond the canal on Jawarharlal Nehru Street, after three cross roads you reach to a Cafe` on your left -
yes, that is Indian Coffee House.
Exact address is 125, Nehru Street, Heritage Town, Puducherry.
Well, it is simply a Coffee House, what else about it !
Indian Coffee House during 1973-74 - Picture taken by 'John van der Woude'.
Well, the Coffee House has its own special values and is known for -
- it is one of the heritage buildings in Franch-indian style of Pondicherry.
- it serves excellent traditional fine coffee.
- it is operated by coffee workers' co-operative society.
- It is a chain restaurant from the Coffee Board of India.
- it is on Nehru Street with a large picture of Sri Nehru ji without his trademark cap - 'Nehru Topi'!
- of course, the birth-place for the movie 'Life of Pi' too!
Ask anyone in Pondy and will say it is just a different !
It is because of its variety of visitors-
Ashram residents, Aurovillians, Pondicherrians, expats and tourists.
Some addicted to its coffee, some to its French Toasts and some to its traditional south indian Vada Sambhar and Dosai!
Some, like me, love its old style high-ceiling, greenish walls, lazy fans, mixed smell of Coffee & Sambhar with the many noise of
utensils, customers and outside traffic; with the slow sips of coffee!
A perfect atmosphere for a writer!
Frankly speaking, for most of them, it is coffee and conversation that matters
- and you can sit here as much as you can!
Well, well !
we are very near to its very brilliant historical point -
...that food, Conversations and free limitless time for sitting
and to add, the surrounding bazaar full of items for livelihood
and to catch some silent moments at Samadhi
of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother
- believe me, all these made those very early Aurovillians
this Coffee House, a must place to visit
for their life on the far-off land of south India which is not yet much changed
- even in this 'wi-fi era', it is the same!
These early Aurovillians used to visit this Cafe` right in the morning or in the afternoon
for coffee and breakfast
on their only vehicle - bicycles, tying their younger kids on their back!
Those warriors of the Divine Work upon the earth didn't have
much money to entertain themselves with items of luxury and had no warmth of relatives and society.
They were very simple,
doing the very basic work of life so that they could devote most time to build a solid Divine Truth
on this land as per the Mother's Dream,
putting everything behind, even not cared for the great education
and wealthy remarkable future of their young children!
If India has written many attacks and wars with the invaders to her history,
she must also write this bold helping hands of the foreigners
to restore, rebuilt and rebirth to a new form of
her great ancient heritage of spirituality!
This cafe` on Nehru Street of Pondicherry - Indian Coffee House
had not only provided these early Aurovillians just coffee and food to suit to their pockets but the humble staff of this cafe`always at their help.
Never disturbed their children playing all over in cafe`,
instead making them happy with some colorful free toffees!
They used to keep an eye on these children when these foreigners were shopping around in the bazaar
for grocery, chairs, traditional coir bed, or new a bicycle.
The language was the barrier so the manager used to serve a free dish of many items of food to the whole group to acknowledge the taste.
Well, that free time to sit in the restaurant at your wish was a real boon!
The maps were laid down on the tables
and the whole group engrossed in many discussions for hours -
some maps were of the civil-drawings and plans of the buildings to built and some were of boundaries
for growth and vegetation planting.
Their gestures showed that
they were discussing even very minute detail as if they had taken this task
as a holy devotional prayer!
Even today, it is the same practice and procedure among Aurovillians
for bringing down a new plan.
The result of these early activities at this Cafe` over a cup of coffee and food
brought a slow but very sturdy growth of Auroville.
Indian Coffee House became a silent witness and helper of the evolution for
the dream of Auroville,
a difficult and massive work to be accomplished for the Divine Truth
in the very stagnant material life.
It has its solid share and footprints in the history of Auroville.
Even today, it is the landmark and meeting point
My father, Dinubhai K. Dave, trained during 'A.B.Purani Era' in Gujarat, India
and had worked some years in the Ashram type School of
Late Sri Labhshankarbhai Vyas 'Navsarjan Vidhyalaya' at Nargol, Gujarat
(his son and Ashram Student, Kiranbhai Vyas running a great Yoga Center near Paris in France - http://www.tapovan.com) used to talk to and told me many things which I was not able to understand.
That was the time during 1977-79.
Afterward, whenever I had visited Pondy, I paid a visit, (even in last January of 2016),
this Cafe` too and remember those days.
A salute to this Cafe` to be a mute witness of early Aurovillians' hardships, meetings, discussions, hopes, frustrations, their unforgettable activities
and the great dream they were devoted too.
Never forget to visit this simple Coffee House to pay your homage !
(email@example.com - 67 Gloucester Road, parsippany, New Jersey, USA)
5/14/2016 06:46:10 pm
I had close association with Dinubhai while he was in Navsarjan. I cherish those happy memories.
5/14/2016 08:49:09 pm
Regarding the Auroville I feel thet through its sincere attempt to embody our Master's Teachings it is on its way to become a forrunner of Gnostic Society. The consideration of the modus operendi of this community would be beneficial to our Centres worldwide.
Malay Dinubhai Dave
5/14/2016 09:14:34 pm
A very informative Article refkecting the history....Malay D Dave
5/14/2016 09:29:30 pm
OM. The Mother's Blessings!
5/15/2016 04:39:21 am
Dear Vijay bhai,
6/23/2017 01:22:49 pm
A very loving tribute to an unconsecrated sacred space. Could not find however a reference to Ajit who so tenderly supervised restoration in the most sensitive manner not long before his demise.
6/24/2017 10:10:41 am
Thanks for the name of Ajit Ji.
6/24/2017 10:38:00 pm
Our office was situated very close to Indian Coffee House on Jawaharlal Nehru Street. During our coffee break we would regularly go there and sip the wonderful coffee and not to forget their tasty cutlets & masala dosa. As we were regular customers they knew what we would order and bring the dish in a whiff. They used to serve a unique cold coffee for a fraction of the cost these days in other restaurants. Long live ICH
1/14/2021 06:49:29 pm
Thhanks for this
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