Kalidasa Day Report

The Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems, Chanakya University celebrated Kalidasa Day on the delightful occasion of The First Day of Āṣāḍha, on 30th June 2022. The event included opening remarks by Dr. Ashok, Dean, School of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, a special lecture by Dr. Naresh Keerthi, Assistant Professor and Head, Department of Sanskrit Studies, Ashoka University, Vācana and Vyākhyāna (Musical Rendition and Explanation) of Kālidāsa’s poems by Dr. Ranjani Vasuki, Renowned Carnatic Musician, Bengaluru and Sri. Arjun Bharadwaj, Contributing Editor, Prekshaa Pratishthana, Bengaluru. Dr. Naresh enlightened the audience by demonstrating how Kalidasa effectively uses natural descriptions in his poetry to heighten the poetic effect. By taking the particular example of the deer leitmotif in Abhijñānaśākuntla Dr. Naresh brought new insights in appreciating Kalidasa’s poetry. Following this, Dr. Ranjani enthralled the audience with a beautiful rendition of selected verses from Kalidasa’s Meghadūta. Her choice of each raaga was apt to the mood of the verse and also managed to capture the connotations of the words appearing in the verse. Such nuances are explained with further details by Sri Arjun in his exposition of the selected verses. With his insightful observations on the verses, the audience was able to appreciate the extent of meaning packed by Kalidasa in each verse. The two programs were followed by a presidential address by Dr. H. V. Nagaraja Rao, Revered Scholar of Sanskrit Grammar and Poetics, Mysuru. Dr. Rao drew attention to the need for many more such events so that people can appreciate Indian literature. He congratulated the previous speakers and emphasised that Kalidasa’s works are so rich that in spite of there being a large amount of Kalidasa scholarship, both traditional and modern, there is still an opportunity to gain new insights from his works. It was clear that Kalidasa is truly timeless and that his work can be enjoyed by people with varied interests and dispositions in their own way. Prof. Yashwant Dongre, VC, CU, and Prof. K. V. Raju, Dean, Research, CU, Dr. Shatavadhani Ganesh were among others who graced the occasion.