One day a colleague of mine asked me if I would like to meet the great French savant Paul Richard, the husband of the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. I could not believe that he was still alive. I was under the impression that he had passed away many years ago.
On 29 April 1967 I went with my friend to an apartment on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, and there I had a three-hour interview with Paul Richard. He was so nice to me, so affectionate, so compassionate.
In his room, he kept a small picture of Sri Aurobindo. He told me that Sri Aurobindo always used to call him “Brother,” and he also used to call Sri Aurobindo “Brother.” He had such love and respect for Sri Aurobindo.
He served the French Government. I believe that he was the French Consul in Algeria at one time. In 1910 he came to see Sri Aurobindo for the first time. In 1914 both he and his wife visited Sri Aurobindo. Then after four or five years, she came back alone.
In his later years, Paul Richard came to America to be with his sons, who were teaching here at a university.
He showed me a window in his room and said, “I vividly saw my Brother standing here.” One day before Sri Aurobindo passed on in 1950, he appeared to Paul Richard to bless him.
After the interview, I wrote everything down in Bengali. It filled thirty pages. Later I sent a photograph of our meeting to my family in the Ashram. When Paul Richard died not long afterwards, I wrote directly to the Mother to inform her.
He was an excellent writer. He wrote many books on India, and quite a few articles appeared in India appreciating his writings.