The Story of Kalidas(How Classics were Born)
Night had fallen on the city of Kashi. People were fast asleep in their homes, but Princess Vidyottama was tossing about in her bed. She could not sleep. She thought about her past life—the tragic incident of her marriage and turning Kalidas out of her palace.
Though many years had passed, yet Vidyottama had not forgotten the conspiracy of her dejected suitors and her marriage to Kalidas through deceit and trickery.
Suddenly, there was a knock on her door.
"Who is there?" asked the princess.
"Kalidas," the voice replied.
Vidyottama now asked him in Sanskrit whether he had attained some knowledge of the Sanskrit language. It is believed by some that Kalidas recited on the spot the three greatest classics of the Sanskrit literature namely Kumarsambhay, Meghdoot and Raghuvansh.
This way, Kalidas redeemed his honour.
The Evening of Life
Kalidas had now grown old. His fame as a poet and man of wisdom had spread far and wide. When he sang, he attracted people from the nearby villages to the temple and they stood there spellbound, listening to his glorious songs. It was a common sight to see birds fluttering over him and the wild beasts sitting around quietly. In the temple of Mother Kali, among his strange audience of men, birds and animals, Kalidas looked like a being from the other world.
Padmini, the Princess of Bengal, heard the marvels of Kalidas. One day, she too came there to hear Kalidas sing. She could not restrain herself and fell at his feet crying.
"May you be happy and free of sorrow!" Kalidas blessed her.
"My master and my lord," said Padmini, "I am your wedded wife".
"I have no wife now," and "I have renounced my home" replied Kalidas. "You may go home and spend your days in peace."
Padmini was much disappointed. All her entreaties to Kalidas to come to her palace were in vain. She went back heart-broken.
Once Raja Bhoj of Dharanagri came to the temple with his family, followed by his retinue. He was a great patron of art and learning. He worshipped Mother Kali in the temple and requested Kalidas to sing for him. When Kalidas sang, inspired by the King's devotion to the Mother, his song stirred the inner being of Raja Bhoj. The Raja requested the poet to accompany him to his palace and spend his days there as his honoured courtier.Kalidas accepted the offer and accompanied the Raja to Dharanagri.