Awakin Circle Hyderabad: Four Years On...

Posted by Suchitra Shenoy on Oct 7, 2019
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You get off a busy main road, full of all the hustle-bustle that Indian streets have – buses honking, cars zooming, autos coasting looking for passengers, two-wheelers weaving in and out, and the occasional intrepid person on foot trying to cross the road. A new hospital just adds to the stress of navigation.

You turn at the hospital, into a small lane, bumpy with potholes from the recent monsoon. A lake stretches out on your left. Depending on the government’s inertia, the lake is either covered in weeds and stinking, or cleared up with ducks bobbing and small storks gazing solemnly at the waters.

The first house on your right is your destination: Aviraam, Centre for Healing. A green lawn, a beautiful house with a large verandah, shaded by a red tiled roof greets you. Kitty-corner to the house is a rectangular space mostly of glass that lets natural light and air flood in.

For the past four and a half years, Awakin Circle Hyderabad has been lucky to call this space home. Mamatha Talluri, our gracious host, did not think twice in offering it for the Circle. I barely knew her then. Just knew that my own house was too far away for people to come to, and this seemed a convenient point to gather. Over the years, I learnt that Mamatha is a formidable yoga therapist and a fabulous yoga teacher. We became close friends. It has been inspiring to see her live her life deeply immersed in all aspects of yoga; according to the eight limbs of yoga and the Yoga Sutras. And she always juggles the busy calendar of the yoga studio, with its yoga, chanting, teaching and other classes, with the schedule of the Circle.

Sachi recently wrote to me saying, ‘Suchi-didi, someone was mentioning your Awakin Circle. Thinking of you!’ And I had to laugh. Sachi (for the three people on this planet who don’t know her), is one of the core members of the ServiceSpace Mumbai gang – a stalwart Awakin Circle host and one of the moving spirits behind Awakin Talks. She made me laugh, because in four and a half years our Hyderabad Circle has gone from 3 people to about….6 people. (We get giddy if there are more than 10 participants.) Awakin-Hyd is like the toddler to Awakin-Mumbai, the grown-up :)

Our beautiful space, Aviraam is now not available. Mamatha and her husband are moving to their farm, and this spot has been sold. It is a reminder of the transitory nature of things. Of the inevitability of change.

At our last Awakin Circle in Aviraam we didn’t want to end morosely. So, we had a little thank-you ceremony. Someone brought a cake, someone gave gifts to those who had supported our many chais, someone beautifully printed up our readings from 2018. (Yes, it is now October 2019, but the thing about Hyderabadis you must understand, is that we live our life haluu-haluuu, slowly, slowly. So, it is not at all surprising to get a 2018 booklet at the end of 2019, you know.)

And we said, ‘this is our last Circle at the beautiful Aviraam centre created and shared with us, by Mamatha. We have had inspiring speakers, good meditations and lovely chai-chats here. In thanks, we thought we would have a reading on Dana – on gifting and generosity.’

The Hyderabad Awakin Circle will continue in a new location. But it has been a lovely four and a half years at Aviraam. Thank you to all who made it so.

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Comments (4)

  • Mohan wrote ...

    Yes Suchi, you couldn't have summarised our wonderful journey thus far in the realm of mindful meditation. The greenery and serenity in the Aviram space have had a significant role in our meditation. You provided the substance( readings) and Mamta the spacelike the two wheels of a bicycle, each significant for our ride. Thank you and our journey continues .. . .

  • Arun wrote ...

    Aviram is such a lovely place and Mamatha, a lovely host. I am so grateful for her to provide the space for mediation and all the after session snacks and many many thoughtful discussions😊
    I even got to give my amateur flute performance there once

  • Ragunath Padmanabhan wrote ...

    Any place that invited us (as speakers :) cannot be an insignificant space. Call the realtor and find out who is the new owner. Long live Aviraam!

  • Ashima Goyal wrote ...

    Totally with Raghu on this one :-) Or just show up at their door every Wednesday evening! When we were leaving Romania, the Awakin community used to say, we are still going to come here every Wednesday evening and ring the bell till the new tenants start hosting!! :D

    What a beautiful gift of Awakin Readings. They are so timeless that you didn't even need to write 2018!