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Apr 1
April 2024
HP Poet: Pradip Chattopadhyay
Age: 63
Country: India

Question 1: A warm welcome to the HP Spotlight, Pradip. Please tell us about your background?

Pradip Chattopadhyay: "After graduating with honours in Geology, I worked in various sectors including railway, banking, teaching, accounts and audit, consultancy and advertising. I feel working in diverse fields have helped me to come across people and characters of many shades and hues. This probably broadened my perspectives and laid the foundation for my poetic creativity. I have a wife of 40 years, and we together have raised a family almost from scratch. We have our son, daughter in law and a granddaughter 5 years old. They have been a source of many of my work."

Question 2: How long have you been writing poetry, and for how long have you been a member of Hello Poetry?

Pradip Chattopadhyay: "I have been writing poems since I was in 8th standard. Initially I wrote in my vernacular Bengali before experimenting with writing in English from the early nineties. There was a hiatus of nearly two decades when I didn't feel like writing. From early 2011, I have been among words regularly snatching time for creative pursuit from my work in advertising. The ***** went up till 2018, my most prolific period, before the curve went down. I admit I'm not writing as much as I would have loved to. Arrival of my granddaughter in early 2019 both added and eroded my urge to write. Most of my time was for her. I started with posting my work on Poem Hunter before coming to Hello Poetry on March 22, 2013 where my first post was 'My Name is Bond'. I post on no other site."

Question 3: What inspires you? (In other words, how does poetry happen for you).

Pradip Chattopadhyay: "The spark that begets a poem is hard to explain. For me, it can be a momentary emotion, an impulse that's too compelling to ignore, a character or relationship, intimate or distant, an event or incident that might appear mundane on the surface, even a sight fleetingly seen. I have been an avid traveller, and moments with my wife during such excursions have produced many of my poems. The river has always been an inseparable part of my life possibly due to my growing up and living in the riverine areas. So the river silted or flowing has been a constant inspiration for my work. There are also other places for my poems. The daily market, slum, a pavement dweller, a daily wager, a salesman, religious beliefs and practices, faith, a journey, ruins, fairytale and so on. I place no limits on subjects; love, relationship, humour, horror, mystery, memories. Often they take the form of storytelling through a blending of experience and imagination. All said, what satisfies me immensely is to be able to write poems for children. I have tried a few trying to fit into a child's mind, a difficult process. Most of the poems rise and sink in my mind. Only a few see the light of ink and paper. Of late I've been a little lazy or maybe a little too busy for retrieving the ones that float for only a while."

Question 4: What does poetry mean to you?

Pradip Chattopadhyay: "For me, poetry is painting collages of life from within and without. The stimuli arise from the interaction between the external and the inner world. It is not to preach but to present what is seen and perceived by the poet, and leave the rest to the reader. You get down at the wrong station and see a reflection that you never thought existed within you. It becomes a poem. For me, poetry is touching upon the entire gamut of human emotions culling them from the simple happenings around us. Bringing out the hidden "more" than what meets the eye. Poetry is making meaningful an apparently simple happening. Even a mundane occurrence may contain the seed of a deeper realisation. For me, poetry happens for all that happens in our surroundings, be they conspicuously visible or not. The poet is an explorer and discoverer."

Question 5: Who are your favorite poets?

Pradip Chattopadhyay: "Rabindranath Tagore occupies a pedestal. He is universal in his dealing of all aspects of humanity. I also love to read Wordsworth, Shelley, Frost, Macleish and Neruda. I am not very familiar with contemporary poets in English language."

Question 6: What other interests do you have?

Pradip Chattopadhyay: "I love travelling and take interest in photography. Mountains attract me more than the sea. I have been to the higher altitudes of the Himalayas including Ladakh and Sikkim. Once I was a good reader but now I have fallen out of that habit."

Carlo C. Gomez: β€œThank you so much for allowing us this opportunity to get to know the person behind the poet, Pradip! We are honored to include you in this ongoing series!”

Pradip Chattopadhyay: "I am thankful to Carlo for providing the opportunity to talk about myself and share my views with my poet friends on this site. The Spotlight on Poets is a greatly admirable effort to showcase the work of the many great poets here. Thanks to Carlo again for this truly encouraging initiative."

Thank you everyone here at HP for taking the time to read this. We hope you enjoyed coming to know Pradip a little bit better. I surely did. It is our wish that these spotlights are helping everyone to further discover and appreciate their fellow poets. – Carlo C. Gomez

We will post Spotlight #15 in May!

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