Keki N. Daruwalla was born in Lahore in 1937. He was educated in Ludhiana and served in the Indian Police service. His first collection of poems was entitled Under Orion (1970). This was followed by Apparition in April (1971) for which he received the U.P. State Award in 1972. Subsequently he has published Crossing of Rivers (1976), The Keeper of the Dead (1982) and Landscapes (1987). He won the Sahitya Academy Award in 1984.
Daruwalla describes his poetry as ‘a totally impressionistic record of subjective responses’. Of the creative process he says that ‘Writing a poem is like a clot going out of the blood’. Many of Daruwalla’s poems are rooted in a rural landscape; they have an innate Indianness inspite of the poet’s westernized outlook. In Crossing of Rivers, for example, poetry is born out of the multitudinous landscape of Varanasi. Social consciousness and immediacy of expression give Daruwalla’s poetry a unique quality. Overarching his ‘record of subjective experience’ is the timeless India of myths and rituals towards which his poetry reaches out. His versification is elastic and the imagery is sharp and concrete, thus making the poetry very readable.