"Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite"--Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
the slogan of the french revolution took on new meaning for rohit and pankaj and our friend mihir ( all between 11 and 14) in auroville!! significantly, also having french connection, as it was founded by a french woman!!
we biked everywhere that we had to go, riding 30-40kms daily on some really khatara rented bikes. after being together for the first 3 days, until we got our bearings and they got familiar with the place..... they got their liberty through their cycles to ride all over the community and explore places and people as equals with others in a place that nurtures fraternity!! it was relatively safe as the community is not large and people know each other, and tho there is some traffic it is not so heavy!! i dont think they realise quite how liberating this experience has been for them!! to be able to make plans independant of me and bike 5-6 kms away to play at the sports ground or to the restaurant where they helped the owners out or to catch up with their friends!
for me also it was super to see them go.... literally!! it took me back to my childhood in air force station hindon at age 8 or 9 when i felt a rush of freedom the day i learnt to ride independantly and the whole place opened out to me!! this is one of my most vivid memories of that time!!