Amrita Pritam~

Updated: Sep 14, 2019

The more you fly high, risk of being dead in the next moment increases but that’s what dreams do to you. They are tenacious, bold and courageous because they are meant to be the ignition of passion one carry in the heart. Heroes from the past serve so many examples and struggles they suffered from in order to achieve what they dreamt of without any supports.

One of such lady who shaped India in a way, iconic Indian writer, poet and a critical thinker was Amrita Pritam. She was born on 31st August, 1919 in Punjab, British India and gained equal popularity in India and Pakistan even after migrating to India after partition. Her work and her life were audacious statements not just in literacy but also when she created new ideas and images for women of country to be understood. Amrita Pritam was surrounded by loneliness after her mother passed away and she began writing with all the responsibilities of household. Her first anthology book, Amrit Lehran which means Immortal Waves was published in 1936 when she was 16 years old. She initially wrote many romantic poems but eventually started writing about the Socio-Economic concerns and became a part of Progressive Writer’s Movement, which was then published as Lok Peed (People’s Anguish) in 1944 which criticized war-torn economy.

Amrita Pritam was first to receive Punjab Rattan Award, first female to receive Sahitya Akademi Award for Sunehadey (Messages). She was also awarded by Bhartiya Jnanpith Award for Kagaz Te Canvas (The Paper and The Canvas). She was so humble at the same time that when she was asked for her autobiography she replied, "I can write my biography on a stamp, it will easily fit." Her autobiography Rasidi Ticket (Revenue Stamp) was very popular.The first of Amrita Pritam's books to be filmed was Dharti Sagar te Sippiyan, as ‘Kadambari’ (1965), followed by ‘Unah Di Kahani’, as Daaku (Dacoit, 1976), directed by Basu Bhattacharya. Her novel Pinjar (The Skeleton, 1970) narrates the story of partition riots along with the crisis of women who suffered during the times. She was recipient of Padam Vibhushan and Padam Shri, India’s highest civilian awards. She was passionate about words and was known for her unswerving love poems. She firmly believed to raising and speaking in the manner “you” want against the taboos, not in the manner the world expects you to. She redefined the expectations about gender, challenged the formerly boundaries intended in the society.

She died on 31st October 2005 in Delhi leaving behind the legacy of so many beautiful writings and her profound revolutionary deeds. Remembering her with her own lines~

I will meet you yet again How and where I do not know Perhaps I will become a figment of your imagination or maybe splaying myself as a mysterious line on your canvas I will keep gazing at you. Perhaps I will become a ray of sunshine and dissolve in your colours or embraced by your colours I will paint myself on your canvas I do not how and where – But I will meet you for sure. Maybe I will transform into a spring and rub foaming droplets of water on your body and like a coolness I will ease into your chest I know nothing but that whatever time might do this birth shall run along with me. When the body perishes It all perishes but the strings of memory are woven of cosmic atoms I will pick these particles Re-weave the strings and I will meet you yet again. — Translated from original Punjabi “Main Tenu Phir Milangi”

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