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Kalikalam, The


Kalikalam, The an illustrated monthly periodical. First published in the Bangla year 1333 (1926), Kalikalam was edited by Premendra Mitra, Murlidhar Basu and Shailajananda, and was published from Baroda Agency at the College Street Market, Kolkata. It was published on 30 of every month and continued for four years regularly. In the second year of its publication, Premendra Mitra left the monthly. Then Shailajananda Mukhopadhaya and Muralidhar Basu jointly edited it for another one year. In its third year, Shailajananda Mukhopadhaya also left it, and for the remaining period Muralidhar Basu was the editor.

The first writing of its first issue was the serialised story titled 'Mahajuddhyer Itihas' by Shailajananda Mukhopadhaya. Besides, he wrote another story titled 'Didimoni' using a pseudonym. The second part of Premendra Mitra's novel Pank was also serialised from the very first issue of the Kalikalam. His poems 'Magermulluk' and 'Manuser Maney Chai' were also published in it. Kazi Nazrul Islam's poem 'Madhobi Prolap' published in its second issue created reaction among the conservative section of the reader mainly because of its physical appeal and indecent, bawdy expressions. Sajani Kanta Das of 'Shanibarer Chithi' wrote to Rabindranath complaining about the obscenity of the Kalikalam and the Kallol.

Most prominent poets and litterateurs of that time wrote for the Kalikalam. The newspaper used to publish short stories, novels, poems, essays and translation pieces. In order to attract the reader, it had some feature sections such as: Sangraha, Chayonika, Bichitra, Asanglagno, Chitra and Sahityaprosabgo. Translation pieces of foreign writings used to be published in the section of Songraha. Chayonika used to reprint important writings from contemporary other newspapers. The Chitra section contained humorous writings on different issues. The Sahityaprosango section had discussions and criticisms on the writings of contemporary literature. There was another regular column titled Masik Sahitya where there was discussion on the contemporary newspapers.

As an illustrated monthly, the Kalikalam left a special mark in printing pictures and images. It used to print photographs drawn by the young artists along with the photographs of important personalities. The images based on different writings of the newspaper were especially attractive.

The Kalikalam was in competition with the Kallol though the ideology and the contributors were almost the same. Achintya Kumar (1903-1976) once said: the Kallol and the Kalikalam are 'the two blazing wings of a free bird'. The Kalikalam opened a new chapter in the history of modernism in literature in this region. In its four-year life span, Jatindranath's (1887-1954) pessimism, Mohitalal's hedonism and Nazrul's message of equality was brightly reflected. [Mamunur Rashid]