Sursinhji Takhtasinhji Gohil (1874–1900), popularly known by his pen name, Kalapi was a Gujarati poet and the Thakor (prince) of Lathi state in Gujarat. He is mostly known for his poems depicting his own pathos. He lived in Lathi-Gohilwad, which is located in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat.
Sursinhji was born to the royal family of Lathi in 1874. His mother’s name was Ramba. He had a very short life of 26 years, and died in 1900. He was educated at Rajkumar College, Rajkot. He was married to two princesses. Rajba-Ramaba, the princess of Kutch – Roha, and Kesharba-Anandiba, the Princess of Saurashtra-Kotada at the age of 15. Ramaba was elder to Sursinhji by eight years, while Anandiba was elder to him by two years. When he was 20 years old, he fell in love with Shobhana, who was serving as a maid to his royal family.
It is believed that Kalapi’s love for Shobhana became the reason of conflicts with Ramaba, and then the reason for his accidental death due to poisoning by his own wife.
In spite of his short life, poet Kalapi’s creation was immense and enormous. His creation includes about 250 poems (including 15,000 verses). He has also given a number of prose writings. His 900 letters to his friends and wives brought the facts and truth. He not only used Gujarati language as his medium to elaborate his own creation, but also translated four English novels in Gujarati.
All of Kalapi’s creations, reading, study and achievements were packed by Kavi Lalitji during the period of his age from 16 years to 26 years.
Kavi Kalapi had written poems in various Chhand of Gujarati language. Like Mandakranta, Shardulvikridit, Shikharini etc. To write poem in particular Chhand, one has to follow the structure of that chhand and the rules of chhandas poem. Kavi kalapi is the only poet who has written maximum number of poems in these chhands. Aapni Yadi is one of his best known ghazal in Gujarati literature.
In his remembrance, the Indian National Theater, Mumbai gives Kalapi Award to the established Gujarati ghazal poet annually since 1997.