The Green Belter of Puducherry
Green, rustic, peaceful and lonesome. This is what initiated my journey into the lives of the Green Belters in Auroville, Puducherry and made me realize that I am also one of them at some level. Documenting the Green Belters was like looking at myself in a futuristic mirror.
I met Achilles, a Green Belter, and was immediately attracted to the carefree lifestyle that he led in the wilderness. He came from Europe years back and settled in India looking for inner peace and a good life. His farm has less humans and more animals. I was welcomed by the barking of dogs, led to his house by a flock of ducks, hens and turkeys and finally introduced to him by a ranch of horses.
The Green Belters were the first few members of Auroville who took the responsibility of afforestation on their shoulders and now they spend quiet lives in their self- grown habitat. He runs a horse riding school for children and adults who don’t just ride them but also clean and feed them everyday. They are trained to not only ride the horses but also take care of them like a member of their family thus inculcating a feeling of love towards animals and nature.
On first meeting him he seemed to be rather diabolic but after many interactions with his four huge dogs and his huge bearded self he became an open book the pages of which seemed quite similar to my own.