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Father Returning Home by Dilip Chitre

            In Father Returning Home, Dilip Chitre gives an account of the ordinary life led by modern man, classically represented here as a father and breadwinner of his family. Chitre focuses on the isolated existence the man leads, alienated from his near ones, a sordid and desolate life. There is focus on the life of an Indian father, a life that is the product of modernization due to colonization by Great Britain. This life is pebbled by hardships, work difficult hours and conditions, low wages, and a pessimistic response to imperialism.
             He returns from work late in the evening, a silent commuter among several others like him in the dim yellow light of the train. He is detached from his surroundings as "suburbs slide past his unseeing eyes", his desolate state remarkable in its pathos: his "shirts and pants soggy", "black raincoat stained with mud" and "bag stuffed with books is falling apart". He imagines he is at home as his "eyes fade homeward". The climate is humid: it is the monsoon season. The father starts getting off the compartment of the train, an act that has been compared to that of one insignificant word being dropped off from a long sentence. He makes his way, his hurried gait homewards significant in their irony, as we discover later. Here, in the first stanza, the extensive detailing of the concrete platform, seems to bring out the tediousness of this man-made metropolis; this outlines the core of an organized society and city, but still deprives man of the aesthetics of a freer, fresher environment that adds more value to a man's existence.
             Our next stop is the man's home, where we expect him to find peace, love, care, an escape from the external tensions of work; his hurried gait does suggest the same. However the description of his "weak tea" and "stale chapatti" breaks this illusion; this man is alienated at home too.

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