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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: “Thank 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!

onlylovepoetry Dec 2023
Pradip marks the slow disappearance of faces in the market,
unknown yet familiar and thus important to the senses,
for our eyes crave continuity, comfort reassuring that time,
even time that robber par excellent, still provides some comfort
to our souls, in its own way, even the faces of strangers in familiar places are road markers, bookmarks, that even the known unknown offer a measure of solace, as we traverse the old familiar places
of daily life.

it must be remedied. some of you know that I make not idle promises,
that my promises to be there are effected, for I am affected by the
repair of the world in little, measurable manners, so the iCal calendar
modified with a Visit Pradip++, a new addition…

and on the way there
are few more exotic places where poetry grows that
will require some
layover visitations…

only time in its theiving secretive ways stands between me and
you denied grasping arms, taking the measure physical of a
beating heart
and river-wide smile,
maybe even I’ll practice with a trip to
remote foreign places, which they speak
the languages of poetry too,
Snake River, even Iowa!

Nat Lipstadt Sep 2023
From Pradip:

”The place you occupy in my heart leads me to worry.  Please take good care.”

the wonderful mystery of loving art,
which is shorthand for loving the
artist’s soul
which, a revelation and a relevation
of one’s humanity, and character, is essential “essence” of poetry,
the true power of the written word

this man I likely will never meet, offers me
a place in his heart, which is concomitant
with responsibility of giving loving, obligatory!
the one and only commandment
within his  incredible simple unintended  poem on the power of
giving love, or giving life

through each other’s scribing, we each worked, wormed
into the others heart, the repository of the energizing,
acts of loving, so,powerful that they cross
approximately 7300 miles as the crows flies

perhaps my pessimism is unfounded, overdone,
and we will yet embrace and I will (gently) bounce
his granddaughter upon my knees, something,
with which I possess a modicum of experience

yes, I think I’ve changed,
in a subtle ways;
in my new heart are thousands of rooms
eager awaiting roomers and boarders
who need pay their voluntarily rental
with simple words and even simpler

yeah, you understand…
Augustus  18 2023
S + 2 weeks
Where Shelter Jul 2023
The Mendacity of Beauty,  Marvels of the Mundane

<1/1/2023 10:38 PM>

commissioned by Pradip^

A special carnet permits the day,
though day itself unremarkable,
permissioning of a thousand,
even, tens of ten thousand
grasping new love poems

all mundane, all marvelous

an aborning of odes re the
vastness of sea, sandy sky,
multifarious penumbras of hewn hues,
vibrantly diverse, still, requiring the
expanse and pretense of “new”
adjectives and metaphoric
in combos recalculating

precisely, it’s the enormity,

of the difficulty of verbal capture
upon tablet of these natural treasures,
once, more, yet again, but in somehow in a new-never
quite-before conceptional~postulation-realization

I sojourn amidst both man made and natural beauty,
provoking, invoking, a steady stream of potable knowledgeables, performing as a hand-written-thank-you-note for the grace, the imagination of their mishmash existences addressed only to

“whom it may truly concern…”

I’m eager to confess that the poetry inherent in the
mundane, requiring not-so-easy mining, a sales taxing
innovation to capture the subtlety of less visible flecks of gold, that present a rarer challenge to the poet’s senses where glory abides in pyrite pebbles strewn and trod upon by most indifferently,

ah, write of the marvel of the mundane,
**** dare you!


^Pradip: “writing of the mundane is mandatory for me…”
Aug 12 2022
Nat Lipstadt Apr 2022
Pradip Chattopadhyay:
“I think of death now, but more than that, the life I left behind.”

this is like gray hair,
one day, just there,
lower back pain, joins the train,
this retrospection inspection,
neither spring summer or winter,
just a unique fall,
like gray hair,
appearing slowly,
surprisingly unsurprising.

there is no wisdom herein,
just timed capsule release
the weaker the eyesight becomes,
the squinting routine,
we see every moment,
through a rearguard retreat.

did we win, or just
we cannot accept
the sense of lost,
so squint harder,
for looking ahead
is refused
for that is a neutral state,
facing backwards
is the only warranted
that you must, must
take to make hard
Nat Lipstadt Jul 2020
“of late, I have been falling in and out of love with words.” (Pradip)

Dear Pradip,

yeah had them symptoms too, pizza and penicillin, lost my sense of taste and smell, but neither helped, guessing gets tougher, when older, all those associated, assorted, amazing never ending, abracadabra, baptismal-bathing-broadening, buttered-up jobs & responsibilities when your suddenly taller by a new generational addition to the family tree, which means much more concerning, burning worrying words, you dare not say aloud, cause Shiva is too interested, and has too many arms, in interfering with your many small pieces of composure in pandemic days.

Sorry, buddy got no solution, maybe rubbing alcohol, maybe hard liquor, prayers on knees to a 57 variety of deities, try a different temple, start the week on a Wednesday, learn to rhumba, practice meditation way out loud, be annoyingly concerned bout everybody else, offer to do all the kids homework, buy the wife a new dress so you can have an argument regarding wasting money, so you can kiss and make up, heck and ****, you could even write crazy words in any order your personal dictionary commands, reorganizing them in reverse order, and then slapdash them together and call it stew,

don’t matter as long as you got the jaw jawing, the eyes winking, the people looking at you like you gone cuckoo mad, tell your children how much you love them in the middle of day, wave to a neighbor across the street, the gossipy one who always spying on you, sing some cowboy ***-on-little-doggie lullabies, interspersing a Yellow Submarine, croon A Long and Winding Road, and Do Not Forget to include Let It Be, preach with a whang damnastic fever to the street peddlers, then ask for a better price, by now your not-so-well repute will precede you, everyone be offering a cool drink, or hot tea, fresh paneer, really big discounts, the most comfy chair, asking what else ya need, tell ‘em a pen and some paper, please, and everyone will be relieved! cause you back to merely, plain, ordinary crazy, simply composing that wonderful poetry you love to
w r i t e
and everything is
r i g h t
in the world.

other than that, got no consoling words. Sorry.


The Natster
Nat Lipstadt Apr 2020
~one more, for Pradip~

you write me a simple irony
of steely truth

love to know how you do that thing you do...

every time you notate upon a scribble I discard,
you manage to extract the kernel, the original seeded sin,
and in a single sentence, summarize so much better
than all my itinerant beggar-thy-peer essaying.

and it’s 3:49am here in the epicenter and
335 anonymous-to-me died yesterday,
they died unmedaled,
(does that include the ER doc who committed suicide?)
a fact to be sadly celebrated and sadly commemorated
only in charts and graphic

but I distract myself.

for what needs saying is this:

my sense of what you wrote, modest old poet,
the title of this very poem
is best internally directed, attached,
as an appliqué yellow star, proudly worn, when sewn upon the chest
of the man who authored it...

4:03am Wed April 29
in the epicenter middle
^Pradip comments on

“ The most medalled men have no medals to show.”

another commission fulfilled,
but sleep still doesn’t come for in these pandemic days,
the notion of a time to rest
is a casualty too
what you leave when you’ve left (mending the tormenting silence^)

your words rock me, like an old time preacher,
mending, begetting, tormenting,
fire and brimstone you sinner,
if I don’t quit this life of loving words, saloon music,
guitar picking in low down dives,
liquoring and sinning,
choosing to choose poorly,
never and always thinking about the songs
you’ve left behind unplayed, pained

got the sun and the rain and all afternoon,
to contemplating leavings,
the crumbs you let drop,
the missteps took and missed,
drank too much, hurt too hard,
the silence of my history, it’s renting,
unrelenting, tormenting, lamenting and such,
those loves, labors that don’t amounted much,
a slow rush to fall, to count it all

you say, always time to mend what life
has rent, if you spend the time thinking,
‘bout what you gained, what you lost,
the net of both added and subtracted,
what you got, what you gave,
the sum of your begat,
a life’s story, to tell,
of life’s misgiving, unforced errors, and
crimes committed only you know

not sure what the total bill due gonna be,
combining the costs of the here,
the now, what was and wasn’t,
what was said, not believing but yet singing,
so when the check comes,
the summation of your life’s calculations,
get to add on a tip, a good-as-gold saying
it’s time that can mend, but knowing the true costs of time,
maybe, maybe not...

                         let  them reap what you have sown,
                    for the great designer will surely inquire
       what everybody knows is the forecast standard to be met,
     it is not what, how much you got, but what you begat, when,
                                              you’ve left
^ Pradip  “it’s not what, or how much you got, but what you begat, when, left...Indeed sunrain, whenever I ask myself the question, I am greeted with a tormenting silence. But there's always time to mend.”

let them reap what you have sown,
for the great designer will surely inquire
what everybody knows is the forecast standard to be met,
it is not what, how much you got, but what you begat, when, left
Nat Lipstadt Feb 2020
oh no!

another fateful overlooked poem title,
ensconced in a message not initially gripped tight enough,
the entitling command, the wish, this commish-on,
angry for having been ignored, overlooked,
calls the poet out, what, a deadline missed again?  


an inherent compliment contradiction,
the well wisher, wanting an enlarged heart, like mine,
is wise in the ways of double meanings,
knows full well, that the enlarged heart is burdensome,
that weight of those afflicted with enlarged hearts,
walk with the stooped bent of responsibility.

so I write and weep, weep and write,
what a thing to wish for, defer it, deter it,
and yet here, I affirm it!

for in my possess is a sure and certain knowledge,
that a new born girl, has surely already stretched the measurements
of Pradip’s own heart’s boundaries, no wishing necessary,
a natural occurring phenomenon, a first grandchild grasped,
raised up to the light on high, a chemical reaction, an eclipse so
when the body’s brain commands it minions,
ordering messengers, sent to every province, to every *****,
piercing every cell’s shell with a kingly commandment scroll:

heart! all body parts!
grow, enlarge, engorge, for a fearsome wonderful injection of love arrives, a new baby will heartily enlarge, make room for more.

the wonderful burden of love.


a commission satisfied. perhaps I will sleep tonight...

Feb. 10, 2020
2:04 pm
Nat Lipstadt Oct 2019
“when down dreaming ups” (Pradip)

a mysterious phrasing he sent,
the meaning devolving, beyond the obvious,
but slow like, as the mind turns and tastes
these words in different places, ways

when I lay me down to keep,
the dreaming up-ramping, the poems,
don’t know of absent muses, inspiratory lacking,
tongue tied eyes, all banished from the dream world,
where the poems come more than regular,
uninhibited and restless,
begging to be easy birthed,
oh please, oh please!

when down we lay,
up tempo do the brain’s creation ports
turn fiery red, agitated, masses of
tired, poor poems, yearning to be free
disembark all seeking a touchstone statue
to set them free to liberty

my speaking eyelids rapid typing,
placing whole writings in cracks in
the wailing wall, on my own temple mount,
where Hindi letters become stick figures
dancing praises to the lord and  stars and
crescendo crescents interlock their tips,
until one dream complete is downloaded
to moistened, ready lips, for I am up, up,

from my down dreaming

10/20/19  8:54am
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