Sri Nandlal C Patel, a significant presence in Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore, left his mortal sheath on 2 April 2011 in the late morning hours, leaving behind his wife, children, grandchildren and numerous people who look upon him as their own, a father figure, grandfather, brother or simply, ‘Uncle Patel’. His was a sweet soul that came upon earth, it appears, to build bridges. Countless are the bridges he would have built. Many a story one would hear of how he connected one person to another or an organisation and changed one’s life forever. What he did, he did with utmost sincerity and an enthusiasm that never waned, that kept one wondering, ‘how does he do it?’ This was our Uncle Patel. His devotion towards The Mother and Sri Aurobindo taught many of us lessons on the power of simple adoration, devotion and obedience to a higher Being. He would go all the way to complete a task he had taken up, no matter how big or small, no matter for whom. Having done his utmost, he would retire, with full faith in the Divine’s order and a will to submit to it. Uncle Patel played a significant role in nurturing the younger members of the society. He never tired of praising each for his or her positive traits and strengths, which tended to shine even more just because of Uncle Patel’s show of confidence and his sincere words of endearment. To many of us, it has been a blessing to have grown and blossomed under the shade of a loving, towering and beneficent tree that was Uncle Patel. Our gratitude to his sweet and all-embracing soul for graciously pulling us into the Light of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother and to the Divine for enabling us to be part of a family that he was instrumental in building since the Society took shape in Singapore in the early 70s.
This month’s issue pays tribute to Sri Nandlal Patel. On behalf of the editorial, here is our ardent prayer that his soul rests in peace on the lap of the Divine Mother, preparing for a greater journey.