Roy, Kavishekhar Kalidas

Roy, Kavishekhar Kalidas (1889-1975) poet, literary critic, was born at Korui in Burdwan, west bengal on 22 June 1889. His father, Jogendranath Roy, was employed on the Kasimbazar Raj Estate. The Vaishnava poet Lochandas Thakur was his ancestor.

Kalidas Roy learnt Sanskrit at Ashutosh Chatuspathi (Sanskrit school) in Kasimbazar. He also studied at the Khagra London Mission School there. He took his BA degree from Behrampur Krishnanath College in 1910 and enrolled for MA courses in philosophy at the Scottish Church College. However, he did not take the examination, but started teaching at the Ulipur Maharani Swarnamayi High School in Rangpur (1913). He then taught at Barisha High School in 24 Parganas for some time (1920-31). He became headmaster of the Bhabanipur branch of Mitra Institution in Kolkata, staying there till his retirement in 1952.

As a poet, Kalidas Roy was greatly influenced by the ideas of Tagore. His poems feature romanticism, love, rural life, society, adherence to tradition and Vaishvava sentiments. He 19 volumes of poems. Kunda (1907) was his first volume of poetry. His other volumes of poetry include Parnaput (A Cup of Leaves, 1914), Rtumabgal (Hymn to the Seasons, 1916), Raskadam (1923), Haimanti (1924), Lajavjali (Offering of Bashfulness), Brajavenu (1945), Chittachita, and Purnahuti (1968). He also translated Shakuntala, Kumarsambhava and Meghaduta by Kalidas. He was also a literary critic, writing Prachin Babga Sahitya Parichay (Introduction to Old Bangla Literature), Padavali Sahitya (Medieval Bangla Lirics), Sharat-Sahitya (Works of Sharatchandra Chattopadhyay) and Sahitya (Literature). He also founded a literary society named Raschakra

Kalidas Roy received many awards and titles in recognition of his literary genius. He was awarded the title Kavishekhar (Chief of the poets, 1920) by Rangpur Sahitya Parishad, Jagattarini Svarnapadak (1953) and Sarojini Svarnapadak by the university of calcutta, the title Deshikottam by Viswa-Bharati, Rabindra Puraskar (1963) by the West Bengal government and honorary DLitt (1971) by the Rabindra Bharati University. He died in Kolkata on 25 October 1975. [Shipra Dastider]