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(? — 08.1992). Dyuman was the name given by Sri Aurobindo to Chunilal Desaibhai Patel. He came to live at the Ashram on 5.5.1927. A tireless worker, he had many things to do. He cleaned the carpet of Mother’s room every morning when Mother was in the bathroom. Then he cleaned the staircase. He served breakfast, lunch and dinner to Mother. He replied to his large number of correspondents in longhand and promptly, even in the wee hours. He was concerned with the problem of the continuous financial shortage at the Ashram and was also the supplier of food for the Ashramites and in charge of the Dining Room.

Dyuman’s aim of self-sufficiency in food goaded him to acquire agricultural lands and grow crops there. At his fixed hours he went to the farms to look after the work there. He was often seen with a straw hat on his head on his way to the farms. “I am a farmer,” he often said. The straw hat went well with his usual plain dress of a white dhoti and a white banyan, with a full sleeve bush shirt added in the cool season.

Dyumanbhai regarded Auroville equally as Mother’s work along with the Ashram. He dreamed of being the food supplier to Auroville and with the same aim of self-sufficiency in food wanted to organise and run agricultural farms at Auroville. I received a letter from him, written in the early hours of the morning, conveying his idea of serving Mother’s Auroville by freeing the Auroville residents from the food problem. The letter breathed the enthusiasm of this great worker of Mother’s.

Dyumanbhai had an anecdote to say about Mother and organic farming. Mother once said to him when he was serving soup to her, “I hope you are not giving me poison in it.” Mother meant the chemical fertilizers that went into growing the vegetables for the soup. Dyuman, then and there, decided to grow vegetables himself by the organic process for Mother’s soup. It opened a new chapter for him.

From: Shyam Sunder Jhunjhunwala. Down Memory Lane.– Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo’s Action, 1966, p.30.


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