Dilip Kumar Roy: A Pictorial Homage on the occasion of his 125th Birth Anniversary

Dear Friends,

Dilip Kumar Roy (22.1.1897—6.1.1980) was a famous poet, author, singer, composer, lyricist, musicologist and dramatist. After obtaining his B.Sc degree with first class Honours in mathematics from Presidency College (Kolkata) he left for England in 1919 to pursue higher studies at Cambridge. He passed Part I mathematical Tripos and Part I music special in Cambridge. In 1922 he went to Germany to study Western Music. In the same year he lectured at an international conference at Lugano (Switzerland) and also toured Vienna, Prague, Budapest and other cities to speak on Indian music and culture. He met Sri Aurobindo in January 1924 and interviewed him twice. By the time he joined Sri Aurobindo Ashram on 22 November 1928, he had established himself as a popular singer and composer. In 1953 he went on a world tour as the cultural ambassador of India sponsored by the Government of India. He left Sri Aurobindo Ashram in 1953 and settled in Pune where he set up his own Ashram, Hari Krishna Mandir. He received the title of Sur-sudhakar from Sanskrit College (Kolkata) and D.Litt from the universities of Calcutta and Rabindra Bharati. His published works in English and Bengali include The Flute Calls Still, Smriticharan, Sri Aurobindo Came To Me, Among the Great, Yogi Sri Krishnaprem, Hark! His Flute, The Upward Spiral, Netaji: The Man, Pilgrims of the Stars, Aghotan Ajo Ghate, Ashruhashi Indradhanu, Chayapather Pathik, Alochaya Akapakhi, Smriti Joware Dukul Cheye, The Beggar Princess, etc.

22 January 2022 marked the 125th Birth Anniversary of Dilip Kumar Roy. As our humble homage to him, a pictorial tribute of 132 photographs including several rare ones of the great maestro has been published in the website of Overman Foundation.

With warm regards,

Anurag Banerjee

Overman Foundation.

Dilip Kumar Roy in his boyhood years.
Young Dilip Kumar with his father Dwijendralal Roy and younger sister, Maya Devi.

Dilip Kumar in England. From left to right: Dilip Kumar Roy (seated), Khitish Chandra Chatterjee, Subhash Chandra Bose and C.C. Desai (seated).

Dilip Kumar Roy with Nishikanto Roy Chowdhuri.
Same as above.

Dilip Kumar Roy with George Katsutoshi Nakashima, one of the leading innovators of 20th century furniture design and a pioneer of the American craft movement.

Dilip Kumar Roy and Sahana Devi.
Dilip Kumar Roy with M.S. Subbulakshmi.
Dilip Kumar Roy with Uma Bose alias Hashi, whom Mahatma Gandhi had given the title of ‘Nightingale’.
Same as above.

Dilip Kumar Roy with his sister Maya Devi (seated on the left), niece Esha Mukherjee, Uma Bose and the family members of Uma Bose.

Yogi Krishnaprem, Dilip Kumar Roy and Moti Rani (daughter of Krishnaprem’s Guru Yashoda Ma).
The Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Dilip Kumar Roy.
Dilip Kumar Roy and his daughter-disciple Ma Indira Devi.
Dilip Kumar Roy with his friend Dr. Satyendranath Bose.
Dilip Kumar Roy with Ma Indira Devi, his daughter-disciple.
Dilip Kumar Roy with a plate of prasadam on which footprints of Lord Krishna are visible.
A close-up of the above plate.
Dilip Kumar Roy with M.S. Subbulakshmi.
Dilip Kumar Roy and Ma Indira Devi in the drama, The Beggar Princess.
Dilip Kumar Roy and Champaklal Purani.
Dilip Kumar Roy with Ma Anandamoyee.
Photographs courtesy: Hari Krishna Mandir Trust, Pune; Facebook and Overman Foundation Archives.

18 Replies to “Dilip Kumar Roy: A Pictorial Homage on the occasion of his 125th Birth Anniversary

  1. Dear Anurag – Million thanks and load of appreciations to you upon your this remarkable painstaking effort in collecting all the memorable photos of “Dilip Da ” – He was truly a renascent personality and the Divine Minstrel ..However , some persons tend to misunderstand him and about his decision on leaving the Ashram – These are things we can safely leave to one’s destiny – how can one forget Sri Aurobindo’s and the Divine Mother’s Love and Solicitude for Dilip Da ? –
    You have wonderfully brought out all the landmarks and facets of this beloved child of Krishna and Radha through entrancing photos – I had on several occasions visited ‘ Hari Krishna Mandir , Pune ‘- the abode of Dilip Da’s Sadhana – Music was life.
    Adoration to Sri Aurobindo and Lord Sri Krishna was one ceasless current of this great
    ‘Mahatma ‘ who came down from afar ..
    Thank you once again dear Anurag .. thank you . what a wonderful offering you have served us !
    Surendra s chouhan SAICE’ 69

  2. Thank you, Anurag, for this rich collection; one or two photos are missing: the one while he was singing with a chorus the inaugural hymns for the Convention in 1951. Congratulations.

  3. What an extraordinary pictorial tribute to the memory of Sri Dilip Kumar Roy !
    Many thanks dear Anurag for this exceptional gesture !
    We are indeed grateful to you !
    You are creating a new benchmark each time.
    Thank you once again and congratulations for curating this so ably.

    Sachidananda Mohanty

  4. Thank you Anurag for this wonderful collection ! For me, it was useful in the way that many images helped access directly his inner/deeper personality to some extent that was perhaps not possible in the biographies I have read so far.

    If possible, can you please share the photograph of the footprints of dancing Sri Krishna on the bhog thali, that was taken during a prayer by Dillip Kumar and Indira Devi? It was published in ‘The Heritage’, but the image needed a better clarity.

  5. A coincidence or Divine Will…The two great friends’ birthdays are only a day apart- Netaji Subhash on the 23rd January 1897 and Dilip Kumar Roy 22nd January 1897.
    A personal reminiscence ( very vague ). My father Promode Kumar Sen was a good friend of Dilip Kumar Roy. In the biography “Sri Aurobindo : Jeebon O Jog” the author has quoted from Dilip Babu’s Interview at the beginning of the book. I remember Dilip Kumar Roy (may be year late 1940’s or ’50 ) had visited Allahabad. He had come to our house and there was a small musical . I was small then to remember anything more about that after about 75 years. However, in 1951 my father had taken me to Ashram for a longer stay. Then again we both had gone to Dilip da’s residence one evening .I remember him singing .

  6. Anurag, what a wonderful collection of beautiful photographs of a beautiful being!
    I am reminded of a poem “I see Wonders Everywhere” that I had once come across, around three decades ago, probably in ‘Mother India’. The name of the poet: Ursula.
    I am quoting below the lines I had then copied from the poem.
    I suppose this floral tribute, accompanied by a song of Dilip Roy (like ‘Ma, ei prithibir pather pare’), will be a good illustration or explanation of the last two of the quoted lines:
    “Whether I reach Him, the Eternal Truth, is not my only care.
    I see wonders everywhere in the daylight and in the darkness of the night.
    Love has always been my nature’s fare.
    I am grateful for the flowers and the trees,…

    Breathing in the life-force of the air makes my body strong and full of joy.
    I appreciate the beautiful, the rare, for instance singer Dilip Kumar Roy…”

  7. Dear Anurag,
    Great work and good effort. I am glad to see the delightful Dilip Kumar Roy . it seems that he had not missed much being away from Ashram also during his old age. A delightful memory indeed.
    Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry.

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