Interview with steward Andre Mom
“Is there a divine idea of how to keep cows?”
Andre, when did you join Annapurna and why?
“I came here in the middle of 89. I was always interested in farming, although I am not so much a field farmer. I am more involved in infrastructure, in machines and cows. That is why I am here”
Did you have an agricultural background?
“Somehow yes somehow no. I come from Holland and in my beginning twenties I had started to study agriculture. But the theoretical stuff did not go into my head and I quit.”
How did your quest continue after leaving your studies?
“I was out for more peace and more happiness and for a community with spiritual background. But if you look for a community, it has to fit, if you want to stay longer and get rooted. I went to Findhorn community in Scotland and to other communities. until I finally heard of Auroville.”
And that was it?
“Yes. I travelled to India, stayed in the Ashram in Pondi, and one Sunday morning I cycled out to Auroville. After all the New Age diversities I felt a certain clarity and I knew in my heart, that I could do something here. The Aurobindo Yoga was good for me.”
When was that and what did you do then?
“That was in 1981. For the next almost seven years I worked in the Matrimandir as a construction worker. A very good time.”
Then you came to Annapurna. You must have lived a pretty simple life in the beginning?
“Yes, of course, not much was there. I lived for a long time in a small hut with coconut leaves(keet) on top as a roof. If a keet roof is done well, no rain comes through in the rainy season. But, of course, I had to have good company with a number of animal friends. A “pucca” house I have from 2004 on.”
Your focus is on machines and cows. So your dream must be for example a new Annapurna owned Combine Harvester?
“No. Repairing old and used machinery mostly makes more sense than buying new stuff. But we need good modern tractors here too, no doubt”
And the cows?
“I think that I am pretty close to the cows. A question, that touches me, is: Is there a divine idea, how to keep cows? I would like to know and implement that”.