Keki N. Daruwalla: English language Indian poet, (1973-) | Biography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Keki N. Daruwalla
English language Indian poet,

Keki N. Daruwalla

Keki N. Daruwalla
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro English language Indian poet,
Is Author
From United Kingdom
Field Literature
Gender male
Birth 1 January 1973, Lahore
Age 50 years
The details (from wikipedia)


Keki N. Daruwalla (born 1937) is a major Indian poet and short story writer in English language. He has written over 12 books and published his first novel For Pepper and Christ in 2009. He is also a former Indian Police Service officer, who retired as Additional Director in the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).
He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award, in 1984 for his poetry collection, The Keeper of the Dead, by the Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters. He was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India, in 2014.

Early life and education

Keki Nasserwanji Daruwalla was born in Lahore in 1937. His father N.C. Daruwalla, was an eminent professor, who taught in Government College Lahore. Before the Partition of India, his family left undevided India in 1945 and moved to Junagarh and then to Rampur in India. As a result, he grew up studying in various schools and in various languages.

He obtained his master's degree in English Literature from Government College, Ludhiana, University of Punjab. He spent a year at oxford as a Queen Elizabeth House Fellow in 1980-81


He joined the Indian Police Service (IPS) in 1958, and eventually becoming a Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on International Affairs. He subsequently was in the Cabinet Secretariat until his retirement.

His first book of poetry was Under Orion, which was published by Writers Workshop, India in 1970. He then went on to publish his second collection Apparition in April in 1971 for which he was given the Uttar Pradesh State Award in 1972.His poems appeared in many prestigious poetry anthologies like Anthology of Contemporary Indian Poetry edited by Menka Shivdasani, The Dance of the Peacock.

He won the Sahitya Akademi Award, given by the Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters, in 1984 and returned the same award in October, 2015 in protest and with a statement that "The organisation Sahitya Akademi has failed to speak out against ideological collectives that have used physical violence against authors". Daruwalla did not take back his award even after Sahitya Akademi passed a resolution condemning the attacks on rational thinkers. In an interview to The Statesman, Daruwalla expanded on why he did not take back his award, saying "what you do, you do once and you can’t be seen as giving back an award and then taking it back." He received Commonwealth Poetry Prize for Asia in 1987. Nissim Ezekiel comments "Daruwalla has the energy of the lion". He is president of The Poetry Society (India), and is based in Delhi.


  • In Morning Dew
  • Under Orion. Writers Workshop, India. 1970
  • Apparition in April. Writers Workshop, 1971.
  • Sword & abyss: a collection of short stories. Vikas Pub., 1979.
  • Winter poems. Allied Publishers, 1980.
  • The Keeper of the Dead. Oxford University Press, 1982.
  • Crossing of rivers. Oxford University Press, 1985.
  • Landscapes. Oxford University Press, 1987.
  • A summer of tigers: poems. Indus, 1995. ISBN 81-7223-201-2.
  • The Minister for Permanent unrest & other stories. Orient Blackswan, 1996. ISBN 81-7530-004-3.
  • Night river: poems. Rupa & Co., 2000. ISBN 81-7167-480-1.
  • The Map-maker: Poems. Orient Blackswan, 2002. ISBN 81-7530-048-5.
  • The Scarecrow and the Ghost. Rupa & Co., 2004. ISBN 81-291-0422-9.
  • A House in Ranikhet. Rupa & Co, 2003. ISBN 81-7167-961-7.
  • Collected Poems (1970–2005). (Poetry in English). Penguin Books India., 2006. ISBN 978-0-14-306200-4
  • For Pepper & Christ. New Delhi: Penguin, 2010. ISBN 0143065815

In popular culture

J. P. Dutta's Bollywood film Refugee is attributed to have been inspired by the story by Keki N. Daruwalla based around the Great Rann of Kutch titled "LOVE ACROSS THE SALT DESERT" which is also included as one of the short stories in the School Standard XII syllabus English textbook of NCERT in India.

Online poetry

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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