Father Returning Home – Dilip Chitre
This poem is all about alienation of a man from a modern man-made world. The people who a man cares about and works for ironically, ignores and estranges him. The old man’s son, who feels grief and guilt down his heart write about his father with an honorable honesty. He writes about his father returning home which at first seems that his father is returning home after a long time, but through the poem it is clarified that it is something of a casual task which is not special or attention gaining at all, and rather represents the distance between them. The first stanza describes the journey of the old man in the train while coming back to home. The son displays image of his father standing among silent commuters in yellow light which indicates evening and, the old age of his father. He does not seems to care about himself as his “shirts and pants are soggy” but he moves onward. Emphasis on his isolation begins by the son describing, “I can see him getting off the train, like a word dropped from a long sentence” which points out his irrelevance to other commuter. It symbolizes that the journey can and will continue without him and just how unimportant his is to the rest of society. The old man’s spirit is alive and he hurries onward, giving the reader a hint of something good going to take place. The second stanza comes back again to estrangement of the father and showing that his family too, ignores him. The two words, “home again” presents that it is something very casual and insignificant, going against the title. He is given stale chapatti and week tea which shows that he is deserted even from his family. He has to go to the toilet to “contemplate” which further develops the companionless atmosphere. Idea of old age and weakness also comes through as he trembles at the sink. The son mentioned himself along with his siblings “sullen” as they “have often refused to share jokes and secrets with him”, which somewhere down...
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