The Passing of Dolly Mutsuddi


On Friday 22 June 2012 Dolly Mutsuddi, the youngest niece of Dr. Nirodbaran, has left her physical body in the Ashram Nursing Home at the age of seventy-five. With her demise the Aurobindonian community has lost a bright jewel.

Dolly-di—as we lovingly addressed her—was the personification of innocence, sweetness and simplicity. She also possessed an indomitable spirit which age failed to weaken.

Dolly-di hailed from a family of Zamindars which was among a handful of Buddhist Bengali communities in Chittagong (now in Bangladesh). She was born on 22 August 1936. Her mother Pratibha Mutsuddi was the younger sister of Nirodbaran who had settled in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram at Pondicherry in 1933. Dolly-di arrived inPondicherry in the evening of 23 April 1949 at the age of twelve with her elder sister Bani. When Nirodbaran informed the Mother about the arrival of the Mutsuddi sisters, she had remarked: “Great success.” When they were taken to the Mother at 10.30 p.m. on that very day, she smiled at them and filled their little hands with fresh jasmine flowers.

Dolly-di was a good tennis player and had the privilege to play the game with the Mother. Though she attended Dilip Kumar Roy’s singing classes her grand passion was dance. She was also quite fond of elocution. After completing her education in the Ashram School she joined the School Office.

Dolly-di had the simplicity and curiosity of a child. Her smile and laughter made one feel that she had never experienced any grief throughout her life. She loved life and was always full of it. She radiated love and energy so much that it was hard to resist her charm. She was like a beautiful jewel whose radiance could illumine an entire room. Yet she was so down-to-earth; she never complained nor criticized anyone. She was always full of praise for everyone. Like a mother she looked after her elder sister Bani (who suffered from heart ailments) and her brothers for decades.

Bani-di’s demise on 15 March 2010 after prolonged illness left Dolly-di inconsolable. Before she could recover from her sorrow she was diagnosed with throat cancer towards the end of 2010. She stayed in the Ashram Nursing Room since 2011. When her health improved she began to devote her time between her home and the Nursing Home. On 25 December 2011 she gave an hour long dance recital at the Ashram Nursing Home. Even some months ago she had recited a poem of Sri Aurobindo at a musical soiree organized at the residence of Prof. Arabinda Basu.

Dolly-di craved to live long to serve Sri Aurobindo and the Mother but the lamp of her life was flickering. Her physical condition deteriorated in the past few weeks. On the last day of her earthly life she asked the nurses around her whether her condition was getting serious. The end came at around 9 p.m. on 22 June 2012 exactly two months before her 76th birthday.

Dear Dolly-di, we bid you adieu with a heart—though heavy with sorrow—full of love for you. Love does not stop to exist even if the beloved one is gone forever. After all, can the heart forget its heartbeats!

We will miss you, Dolly-di, we will miss you a lot.

With warm regards,

Anurag Banerjee


Overman Foundation


[From Left to Right: Dolly Mutsuddi, Ratna Chakravarti, Prof. Kittu Reddy, Amal Kiran, Krishna Chakravarti, Suprabha Nahar and Dr. Dilip Dutta at the first ‘Auro-Ratna Award’ ceremony.]



[Left to Right: Dolly Mutsuddi, Prof. Arabinda Basu and Nilima Das at the first ‘Auro-Ratna Award’ ceremony.]


               The Mother’s Sari gifted to Overman Foundation by Dolly Mutsuddi.


12 Replies to “The Passing of Dolly Mutsuddi

  1. Dear Anurag,

    What an extremely beautiful tribute to Dolly-di.

    She was truly one of my very favorite people in all of the ashram. It was a joy to see her each time I visited Sri
    Nirodbaran. She was such a gracious hostess for all of his guests serving the tea and sweets.
    She always made everyone feel so welcomed with her happy and smiling face.

    I can still see her in her beautiful saris and always carrying a parisol.

    I am so sorry she had this illness towards end of her life.
    I hope she did not bear any serious suffering.

    She passed on the very day that my own father passed away 17 years ago. We are also the same age. I will be 76 in

    May she take rest in the loving arms of the Mother.


  2. Dear Anurag,
    A graceful remebrance to Dolly di she will always be in our heart.
    I have always received a special affection from her- like many others perhaps.Itw as very long freindship over several decades, perhaps a family bond too. My father Promode Kumar Sen and Nirodbaran were good friends too .I remember her special joy when she learnt I named my son as Ruru.She commented, “very well chosen from Sri Aurobindos Love and Death ” .

    We visited her at her residence last year ,She told about her sufferings but in no way showed any lack of her love towards us. She gave a bottle of honey as a token of her affection to my wife.
    We shall always cherish those beautiful evenings that we spent in her gacious company at her residence, and her sister Bani would be the non-speaking participant. We shall miss those. But I am sure we shall not miss Dolly di .We shall feel her presence through the Grace of The Mother..


  3. Dear Anurag,
    I share with you the feelings aroused by the news that Dolly’s flickering lamp has joined the galaxy of the stars twnkling permanently along the Mother’s psychic sky.
    After a very conflictual relationship with Nirode-da as a teacher, when I was admitted to his circle of friends (as, according to Indian social scriptures, all sons – on completing sixteen – are supposed to enjoy that privilege from a father-like figure), the cup of tea became an occasion for “tuning of violins”. Dolly’s devoted presence and spontaneous warmth added grace to it.
    Prithwindra Mukherjee

  4. Very sad news. So many memories of so many afetrnoons! And she linked me up with all the greats of the ashrams with her endless recollections of them. A personal loss.
    Goutam Ghosal

  5. We loved Dolly so much! We hold so many lovely memories in our hearts of Bani and Dolly “We are all Mother’s children” as Dolly would say, rings in our hearts.
    Mitra and Gaia Lamb

  6. It’s shocking & unexpected Dollydi left her physical body. How can one forget her? People familiar with her knew, how much care & dedication she took in maintaining Nirodhbaran’s room. She left her body only. She is with The Mother always.

  7. Dear Anurag Banerjee
    we were lucky recipient of Dollydi’slove and affection.
    we pray to Divine Mother to protect her loving soul
    in Her Divine abode.

    Gratefully yours
    kailash joshi,

  8. Dear Anurag ,
    A beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul who always radiated love and sweetness.. exceedingly touching !

  9. As the car drove away, I could still see Dolly-di waving at us. Dressed in yellow with a matching parasol, she was vibrant as ever. A few minutes before that, we had dropped her at the Nursing Home gate. After alighting and the warm hugs, she clenched her fist and said, “Remember that the Mother’s force is always there. Use it to your fullest capability to do her work”. She repeated this a few times. Suddenly, everything appeared so bright – almost a yellow blaze. There was so much radiance and energy. As we drove away we could feel the energy which we always felt whenever we met her in Pondicherry during our trips to the Ashram. I often commented that meeting her was like ‘recharging one’s batteries’.

    This was on March 10th this year. About half an hour or so before, we were at the Ashram. This time knowing that Dolly-di would be in the Nursing Home, we knew that we would perhaps not be able to meet her. My wife had just finished her meditation. She was thinking about Dolly-di wondering how she was doing. As she opened her eyes and turned around, there was Dolly-di ! Looking at her, and smiling. Busy as she always was, Dolly-di had just popped in at the Ashram and what a remarkable coincidence! But we had stopped calling these meets as coincidences.

    We used to stay in Chennai then and whenever possible would plan a short week end trip to the Ashram. Nine out of ten times we would just bump into her. No matter how much we would love to, we were always hesitant to fixing an appointment with her – knowing that she was so busy almost round the clock. “Mother’s work” she would say and “it has to be done with precision and at the right time”. So, we did consider our first two unscheduled meets indeed as coincidences. After the fourth time, my wife and I admitted that, well, these meets are definitely planned, though may be not by us. Once I remember that we were leaving the guest house and driving out of Pondicherry. In one of the crossings, I slowed down my car just to let a ‘lady with a parasol’ pass. And there was Dolly-di ! A ten minutes interaction and we felt ten years younger! Once I did ask her about these unplanned meets . “Well these things happen, when you really want to” was her reply – she did not even batter an eyelid while saying that. I felt that it was The Mother saying that.

    That day Dolly-di filled us up, as she always did, with her youthful energy. In her conversations, she quickly talked about her treatment with my sister, who is a doctor. Once, my sister’s husband had sung a song with Bani-di and Dolly-di as audience. Ever since, Dolly-di had referred to him as ‘a singer’. This time she said, “ You have such a melodious voice! Do spread happiness with your songs”. She told my brother how much he has grown since the first time we had all met at Nirod-da’s room – almost twenty years ago. Dolly-di then looked at my brother’s wife and teased her “You do not look like a day older than a college girl”. She did not forget to enquire about my parents and two Cadbury chocolates came out of her bag for my son and niece.

    We all feel fortunate in knowing Dolly-di and actually having met her and in a small way having interacted with her. Through Dolly-di we perhaps felt a small touch of The Mother’s grace and blessings. She indeed has been the carrier of the spark, else how can one explain the brightness, the yellow blaze, the radiance and the energy.


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