Dilip Purushottam Chitre (Marathi: दिलीप पुरुषोत्तम चित्रे) was one of the foremost Indian writers and critics to emerge in the post Independence India. Apart from being a very important bilingual writer, writing in Marathi and English, he was also a painter and filmmaker.
He was born in Baroda on 17 September 1938. His father Purushottam Chitre used to publish a periodical named Abhiruchi which was highly treasured for its high, uncompromising quality. Dilip Chitre's family moved to Mumbai in 1951 and he published his first collection of poems in 1960. He was one of the earliest and the most important influences behind the famous "little magazine ... more »
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Dilip Chitre Poems
Father Returning Home
My father travels on the late evening train Standing among silent commuters in the yellow light Suburbs slide past his unseeing eyes
Like a painting by Velazquez A woman stands Alone in the frame
At Midnight in the Bakery at the Corner
At midnight in the bakery at the corner While bread and butter-biscuits are being baked I remember the Rahman of my childhood
I am backing home where you died. One year later, to find Changes that mask our surrender To the inevitability of life.
In The Light of Birds
In the light of birds the lunatic wakes from uncountable sleeps His burning electric wires begin to glow Birds sing in every forest of flesh and blood The lunatic's fingers turn into strings in the outer silence
The House of My Childhood
The house of my childhood stood empty On a grey hill All its furniture gone
Ode To Bombay
I had promised you a poem before I died Diamonds storming out of the blackness of a piano Piece by piece I fall at my own dead feet
Through her blood's lightly layered Hazy darkness Lightning flashes out branches of my being When, through intoxicated wet leaves
Determined to Tell Lies
Determined to tell lies People are able only to tell the truth - Said Rahman
The River Indrayani at Dehu
Reflect my grief River of loss and gain Mother of bliss Source of pain
The view from Chinchpokli
A fouled Sun rises from behind the textile mills As I crawl out of my nightmares and hobble To the sink. Then I luxuriate in the toilet
Prophets have light Screwed tight in their eyes. They cannot see the darkness Inside their own loincloth.
Leningrad, sans Mandelstam, April 1980
The Czar Peter opened up a window on Europe From where the bankrupt poets of the future saw A mysterious navy well-armed with battle-ready poetics Advancing on Russia.
Hidden in my skull are the caves where the endless Reticular frescoes of my awesome childhood Unroll.
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Father Returning Home
My father travels on the late evening train
Standing among silent commuters in the yellow light
Suburbs slide past his unseeing eyes
His shirt and pants are soggy and his black raincoat
Stained with mud and his bag stuffed with books
Is falling apart. His eyes dimmed by age
fade homeward through the humid monsoon night.
Now I can see him getting off the train
Like a word dropped from a long sentence.
He hurries across the length of the grey platform,
Crosses the railway line, enters the lane,
His chappals are sticky with mud, but he hurries onward.