Published in July 2020, the latest issue of Kheya, a literary magazine, is entirely dedicated to Kashinath Roy. One wonders why the editor and his associates felt the need for such an issue which usually comes after a writer’s passing. Also surprising is the fact that Kashinath was not an award-winning poet or fiction writer. What complicates matter further is the paucity of his published work: he published only two collections of poetry, a one-act verse play (Divine Comedy), three short stories, and several essays. In addition to these, he wrote a few academic articles.
The reason behind a special issue while he was alive becomes clear only when one browses through the pages. The issue contains evaluation of his poetry and prose, written by his contemporaries, students, and successors. Some of the pieces are written in the form of personal essay. But all the pieces, on the whole, paint an illuminating picture of his life and work.
When a creative talent of his height was consistently and at times, even adamantly, nonchalant about publishing his own work, a cluster of his students and friends—all of whom are writers in their own right—felt the need for recognising his rare gift. I believe they also felt the need for preserving his work. His already published works are out of print and his short stories and essays were never collected in a book. That’s why this issue is especially significant. It contains a selection of his major poems, two of his stories, his only verse play, and three of his essays.
If any curious reader ever wants to read his work, whether poetry or fiction or essay, all s/he needs to do is collect this issue. Editor Pulak Hasan, Associate Editor Buland Zaveer and those who helped them bring out this special issue must be congratulated for preserving his writing which will be etched in our memory against the tide of forgetting.