Photographs of the Mother taken by Henri Cartier-Bresson

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Dear Friends,

Considered to be the father of photojournalism, Henri Cartier-Bresson (22 August 1908—3 August 2004) was a world-famous French photographer who co-founded ‘Magnum Photos’ along with Robert Capa, David Seymour, George Rodger and William Vandivert. He spent more than thirty years on assignments for the Life magazine and other journals. He documented some of the great upheavals of the twentieth century which included the Spanish Civil War, the liberation of Paris in 1944, Mahatma Gandhi’s funeral in 1948, the fall of the Kuomintang administration in China, the student rebellion at Paris in 1968 to name a few. His published works include reputed titles like The Photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson (1947), The Decisive Moment (1952), The Europeans (1955), People of Moscow (1955), China in Transition (1956), Photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson (1963), About Russia (1973), etc.

In April 1950 Henri Cartier-Bresson had visited Pondicherry and taken several photographs of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. Some of his photographs of the Mother were uploaded in the online forum of Overman Foundation on 13 April 2014. As the second installment of the ongoing pictorial tribute to the Mother, some more photographs of Her taken by Henri Cartier-Bresson in April 1950 have been published in the online forum of Overman Foundation.

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Founder,
Overman Foundation.

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Photographs courtesy: Ms. Tara Jauhar

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The Mother’s Photographs with the Early Inmates of Sri Aurobindo Ashram

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Dear Friends,

21 February 2016 marks the 138th Birth Anniversary of the Mother. As our special homage to Her, some photographs of the Mother with the early inmates of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, have been uploaded in the online forum of Overman Foundation. While some of these inmates were renowned intellectuals and artists, there were many who were silent and dedicated workers who never came under the limelight but were an integral part of the golden period of the Ashram.

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Founder,
Overman Foundation.

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DattaThe Mother with Dorothy Hodgson alias Datta

031The Mother with Charu Chandra Dutt

Mother with Nolini Kanta GuptaThe Mother with Nolini Kanta Gupta

Mother with AmritaThe Mother with K. Amrita

Mother with PremanandThe Mother with Premanand Shukla

Mother with Prithwi SinghThe Mother with Prithwi Singh Nahar

32_130The Mother with Dyuman

149_9The Mother with K. D. Sethna alias Amal Kiran

200 f - 0055-1The Mother with Dilip Kumar Roy

Mother with PujalalThe Mother with Pujalal

Mother with Sudhir Sarkar 1 Nov 1954The Mother with Sudhir Kumar Sarkar

sahana_and_motherThe Mother with Sahana Devi

281The Mother with Sisir Kumar Mitra

01437_bThe Mother with Champaklal Purani

46436_562414600484372_789773379_nThe Mother with Dr. Nirodbaran Talukdar

1779837_669064223149834_791905510_nThe Mother with Udar Pinto and Charu Chandra Mukherjee (Bula)

10614364_763683140337067_7624502704777569291_nThe Mother with Pavitra

AB puraniThe Mother with Ambalal Balakrishna Purani

full - 0201-1The Mother with Vasudha Shah

Mother blessing Kapali Sastry 1951The Mother blessing T.V. Kapali Sastry

Mother blessing Violette in 1951The Mother with Violette (wife of Dr. Indra Sen)

Mother giving blessings to Satyakarma (also seen Chimanbhai, Champaklal and Kamala)The Mother with Satyakarma; also seen Chimanbhai, Champaklal and Kamalaben

Mother with AmbuThe Mother with Ambalal Patel alias Ambu

Mother with BenjaminThe Mother with Benjamin

Mother with Dr Upendra BanerjeeThe Mother with Dr. Upendra Nath Banerjee

Mother with Dr. Upen Banerji, Shyama, HarikantThe Mother with Dr. Upendra Nath Banerjee, Shyama and Harikant Patel

Mother with Dyuman, Rasendran, CounoumaThe Mother with Dyuman and P. Counouma

Mother with GangadharThe Mother with Gangadhar

Mother with HaradhanThe Mother with Haradhan Bakshi

Mother with NishikantoThe Mother with Nishikanto Roychowdhury

Mother with MP PanditThe Mother with M. P. Pandit

With Mona PintoThe Mother with Mona Pinto

Mother with Manoranjan GangulyThe Mother with Manoranjan Ganguly

969052_565346453504071_1993775561_nThe Mother with Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya

Mother and AbhayThe Mother and Abhay Singh Nahar

With Sujata NaharThe Mother with Sujata Nahar

1235967_584308834961615_342673482_nThe Mother with Gauri Bhattacharya

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Photographs courtesy: Ms. Tara Jauhar, Ms. Gauri Pinto and the Archives of Overman Foundation.

Bokul Sarkar: In Memoriam

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Dear Friends,

On Saturday, 9 January 2016, Bokul Sarkar, the youngest daughter of Shanti and Nolini Kanta Sarkar left her physical body at the age of eighty. Nolini Kanta Sarkar (28 September 1889—18 May 1984) was a reputed writer, journalist, singer of humourous songs (including parodies) and editor of noted magazines of the bygone era like Bijoli and Betar Jagat (the fortnightly journal of Indian State Broadcasting Service). A dear friend of Dilip Kumar Roy and Kazi Nazrul Islam and a close associate of Barindra Kumar Ghosh (noted revolutionary and Sri Aurobindo’s youngest brother) he visited Pondicherry to meet Sri Aurobindo in March 1921 and stayed with him in his residence at 41 François Martin Street, better known as the ‘Guest House’. He visited Pondicherry again in February 1930 for the Darshan of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. After his retirement in 1944 he wrote to Nolini Kanta Gupta, the Secretary of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, seeking permission from the Mother to join the Ashram with his family as permanent inmates. When the Mother inquired from Sri Aurobindo about his identity, Sri Aurobindo replied: “He is my old disciple.” The Mother then asked Nolini Kanta Sarkar to wait for four more years.

Nolini Kanta visited Pondicherry a couple of times between November 1944 and August 1947. As a result of Dilip Kumar Roy’s efforts, he along with his wife Shanti and two daughters Gitika and Bokul were accepted by the Mother as permanent inmates of the Ashram. They left Kolkata on 16 February 1948 and arrived at Pondicherry for good on the 19th. He worked in the Bengali section of the Ashram Press and also taught Bengali to the students of the Higher Course of Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education.

Bokul Sarkar was born on 19 April 1935. The early years of her life were spent in the company of reputed poets and playwrights of Bengal who, being Nolini Kanta’s friends, showered infinite love and affection on her and Gitika, her elder sister. She visited Sri Aurobindo Ashram for the first time with her father and Gitika in April 1946. After completing her education from the Ashram School she worked in the Bengali Section of Sri Aurobindo Ashram Library for several years until ill-health compelled her to retire.

Bokul was a darling of Sahana Devi and Dilip Kumar Roy who were extremely fond of her melodious and soul-capturing voice. She learnt music from both the maestros and was one of those few capable singers who could render Dilip Kumar Roy’s songs keeping his unique style intact. Bestowed with a nature that was as sweet as honey, she had a grandmotherly affection and concern for one and all. She loved to cook and feed people and one could not help but marvel at her culinary skills. She was a hesitant speaker since she was a shy person by nature; but as soon as she overcame the initial inhibitions she would turn out to be a delightful conversationalist who shared with us memories of the bygone eras with so much precision that talking to her was as good as reading a book. Yet she was one of those rare individuals who never criticized anyone. But what stood apart as the most noteworthy trait of her personality was her inner strength with which she dealt with the dreaded disease of throat cancer which compelled her to cease singing. She knew that death was approaching but was never afraid of it. The only thing she was afraid of was the possibility of physical immobility and helplessness. She wanted to leave her body without any pain and suffering. And her wish was fulfilled.

On Saturday, 9 January 2016, Bokul went to the washroom where she puked blood and passed on to the Beyond. The end came at around 7 in the morning. She left quietly just as she had lived.

Yet she continues to live—in the hearts of those who loved her and whom she loved—for it is impossible to eradicate the fragrance of her existence from our inner selves.

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Founder,
Overman Foundation.

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210Nolini Kanta [seated at the back with his youngest daughter Bokul], Kazi Nazrul Islam, Barada Charan Mazumdar, Upendranath Banerjee and Dilip Kumar Roy.

Mother with Bokul Sarkar on 11.10.54The Mother with Bokul Sarkar

62Nolini Kanta with Sahana Devi; seated in front his daughters Gitika and Bokul.

72Nolini Kanta with his daughters Gitika and Bokul.

92Nolini Kanta with his daughters Gitika and Bokul.

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Dr. Prithwindra Mukherjee appointed Chevalier in the Ordre des Palmes Academques

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Dear Friends,

In 2009, proposed by the French Minister of Culture, Paris-based famous researcher and author Dr. Prithwindra Mukherjee was appointed Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, in the presence of Swami Veetamohananda of the Centre Védantique, of His Excellency Ranjan Mathur, Ambassador India, of the veteran composer Henri Dutilleux, of Professor Pierre-Sylvain Filliozat, of Bikas Sanyal, Director of the Maison de l’Inde. Gérard Pédraglio, represented Jacques Attali, and offered the medal to Dr. Mukherjee.

Proposed by the French Minister of Education, of Higher Studies and Research, by decree of 1st January 2015, the French Prime Minister appointed Dr. Prithwindra Mukherjee Chevalier in the Ordre des Palmes Academques.

Madame Alphonsine Poujade, President of the Association of Membres the Ordre des Palmes académiques (14th District) organised a ceremony at the Maison du Canada (Cité Universitaire), on 22 January 2016 and, after a concert of piano, violins and cello, offered the medal to Dr. Prithwindra Mukherjee.

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In a simple and touching speech, Dr. Mukherjee thanked the authorities and presented the highlights of his contribution as a cultural bridge between India and France.

We congratulate Dr. Prithwindra Mukherjee for this rare honour. Not only is he the pride of Bengal but of entire India.

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Founder,
Overman Foundation.

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