Indranil Chakrabarty – The Poet Professor

Meet Prof. Indranil Chakrabarty. When this professor from the Center for Security, Theory and Algorithmic Research (CSTAR) is not speaking dispassionately on his area of expertise – Quantum Information Processing and Quantum Cloning, he can be found waxing eloquent in the form of poetry or prose (micro-stories).

Born and raised in West Bengal, Prof Indranil was exposed to Bangla literature at an early age. A self-confessed bibliophile, his thoughts found expression in poetry, at first in Bangla and later in English too. He is currently associated with The Nilgiri Wagon, the editor of which is Dolonchampa Chakraborty. The Nilgiri Wagon describes itself as an “online English magazine for poetry, literature, art and beyond”. Prof Indranil not only contributes articles to the magazine but also as a Sub-Editor, participates in the translation of literature in English to Bangla.

In 2013, alongside his academic exploits, his poetic aspirations led to the culmination of publication of an anthology of 54 poems – Mon Kharaper Pore. Some of these poems have been translated into Hindi by another prolific scientist-writer who is also part of IIIT-H faculty, Dr. Harjinder Singh (more popularly known by his pen-name, Laltu). The Hindi translations by Laltu can be found in journal Sada Neera.

Prof Indranil is emphatic that poems should not have an agenda and sound like a “manifesto”. “Good poetry, or any form of art for that matter should strike a chord in the reader, leaving it to subjective interpretation”, he says. His muse lies in the mundane, everyday things that lie virtually unnoticed by most. And yet it is music, of the instrumental kind, that drives him to pen down his thoughts. He believes that poetry should be minimalistic and subtle, explaining at length by drawing parallels from the imagery used by Hindi poet Gajanan Muktibodh and Bangla poet Ranjit Das.

Having said this, the Prof is however quick to point out that the published set of poems reveals a very different thought and style process from his current style. He claims there’s a marked shift in his current form of poetry – towards Language Poetry. It may seem to lack a proper narrative or look like just fragmented thoughts. In fact the line between art and poetry is blurred where it mixes itself with other forms of media such as music and digital media.

Professor Indranil’s published poems will soon reach out to an even wider audience. The original Bangla poems have now been translated into English by the professor with some help from Laltu. Demonstrative of his personal shift towards Language Poetry, these English translations are undergoing a photographic translation by Konstantina Moschou, a Greek photographer, who incidentally is also a sub-editor with The Nilgiri Wagon.

While he may be known as a Poet Professor, what is relatively unknown is that the professor is a dedicated cinephile too. When he is not working in his lab or waiting for his muse to strike, he can be found relaxing over weekends, watching movies in marathon sessions. Lover of world cinema, he owns critically acclaimed movies, “not typical Hollywood or Bollywood” and has even written critiques on them. He is looking for any perceived interest in reviving the cinema club on campus. Any takers?


Sarita Chebbi is a minimalist runner, practising yogi and baker of all things whole-wheat, and sugar-free. Currently re-learning her ABC’s…the one that goes: A for algorithm, B for Bayesian, C for convolutional (neural network)….

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