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The Auroville collection

From incense and essential oils, hand made paper products, ceramic to the hand painted silks, the Auroville collection at the new shop `Ocean' is a must-see.

INCENSE GALORE: A vivid collection of scented candles.

ONE OF the momentous discoveries of the ancient rishis was the fourth level of human existence beyond the matter, life and mind, which is immortality. "The rishis read the riddle of death and found the secret of immortality," Sri Aurobindo had said. Also known as the supramental plane, he envisaged this to be the next step in the evolutionary ladder wherein the higher power associated would help transform the conditions of human existence.

In confluence with this philosophy of higher plane of living exists the cultural, international, industrial and residential zones comprising the galaxy town plan at Auroville, situated at about eight kilometres from Pondicherry.

That work, even manual work, is sometimes indispensable for inner discovery- about 1,500 residents from 30 countries across the world depict a unique synthesis working with the local villages to create pieces of art at the burgeoning handicraft and small-scale industry here.

And what one gets to observe, as end results are works of fusion - the ethnic flavour laced with an international look, and functionality at the core.

FLOWER POWER: Pressed on hand-made paper

Encens d' Auroville - the incense collection at Maroma, Upasana Design Studio and Auromode fashion lines, Poems of Nature - the handmade paper line, Naturellement - the natural food products from Auroville and more is what one gets to check at the newly opened Auroville counter at Ocean, S.P. Road, Begumpet.

"These are products with the spiritual element apart from the high utility and economy value," observes Suresh Gala, proprietor, Ocean.

Invariably taking a cue from the eastern and oriental wisdom, the Encens d'Auroville comprises a range of 60 fragrances from natural extracts. It is Cedarwood for serenity containing Himalayan cedarwood, gaiacwood and oakmoss resin. Cinnamon is a spirited fragrance with cinammon leaf and bark, clove and lemon. Green Apple, Ylang Ylang, Lilac, Pine Needles and Patchouli are other fragrances in the incenses. The incenses are exported to 25 countries worldwide with 45 per cent of the profits turned over to the development of Auroville and the surrounding villages.

This apart the aromatherapy compositions come as sachets - for luggage or linen shelves, glass votives-fragrant aromatherapy candles and pure essential oils blend with can be used as inhalants, diffusers, bath and massage oils or as leaves in wood-peepal infused with orange and cinnamon In effect the aromatherapy line is an unwinding composition for the body and soul. A clay diffuser for the aromatherapy can also be picked up here.

Handmade paper, a thought towards conservation of forests, has a wide usage here - writing paper, book marks, `thank you' envelopes and other products, in paper made of flowers, leaves, bark and grass, at the `Poems of nature' line, or the `Aladdin' collection of lamps with red Kerala cedar, crochette and beads (Rs 200-Rs 400), a fusion of natural imprints and pressed flowers laminated into table mat at the `Shraddhanjali' collection of `Dharti' - the interiors range here.

The Naturellement range of natural food products comprises plum, star fruit and papaya jams, kumquat and pineapple orange marmalade, peanut butter, and mango, garlic and amla. One can also check out hand made soaps with spirulina, coconut, sesame, neem oil, patchouli, clove and other essential extracts for ingredients here. In the ceramics there are tea sets of sleek kettle and cups, coffee mugs, vases, bowls, coffee filters, cylindrical vases in straight geometric designs, and the tabby cat for a piggy bank.

The collection also displays fusion of raw wood and glass at the craft mirrors. One can also check out the Plaster of Paris candle stands, Egyptian figurines, hammocks and table cloths here.

TRENDY LAMPS: Brilliant work in paper and beads.

The hand painted silks comprise scarfs, ties, cushion covers, kaftans, wall hangings, silk tops in sea green and azure blue, crushed silk skirts in indigo blue and wine red.

This apart one can also find hand woven cotton, cheese cotton, chic knits with beads and contemporary cuts and churidars in cotton. Soft bracelets in glass beads, the leathers-executive bags purses, mobile case, key chains, hair clips, crochet shoes and soft toys make ideal gifts.

Hats, fashion wear for infants, frills and westerns, shoes, functional and party line plus paraphernalia for the kids and teenagers, tops in printed jeans from La Panache house of style, nighties, hosiery, cosmetics, soft toys and more are other buys at Ocean. ``The name suggests getting everything possible with extensive sourcing under one roof,'' says Suresh.

As for the Auroville product line, he intends to have a 3000 sq feet extension shortly to stock more of the products with an exhibition area as well where the artistes can come and display their paintings, pottery and more along with woodwork, quilts, pottery, embroidery and crochet, stone work, clay pottery, wood craft that would be added here. Ocean can be reached on 6333442, 6333447 and 6522258.


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