About the phenomenon: Amrita Pritam

A woman of India, a woman of our hearts. Amrita Pritam was a poet and author, primarily adept in writing Punjabi and Hindi poems. She was born in the year of 1919, on the 31st day of August, in a village named Gujranwala, Punjab(British Raj) to Raj Bibi, a school teacher, and Kartar Singh Hitkari, a writer and poet, as Amrit Kaur. With the grief of her mother passing away when she was just 11, she felt her inside hollow and dark. And to express that utter emptiness, she started writing, and she never stopped. Gradually, along with expressing that sorrow, writing filled her hollow, thriving her into publishing her first anthology at 16 named Amrit Lehran (immortal waves), the same year, she got married to a guy named Pritam Singh. and hence, she was now called as Amrita Pritam. No one knew then, that in a few years, this name was going to be in everyone’s hearts.

After a few years of anguish, pain and numbness, her marriage fell apart. To have a living of her own, Amrita started working in the radio. she worked their till 1961, a year after her marriage ended. the partition of 1947 started to scar her thoughts, a Punjabi refugee, she shifted from Lahore to Delhi while having her son in her womb. In those devastating days, she wrote a poem called ‘aaj aakhaan waris shah nu‘ meaning ‘I ask Waris Shah today’, to enlighten her on how the world was falling apart and if he could help from the grave he was in. How could w=one know that this poem itself would be the infinite reminder of how depressive the world had gotten during the partition and how Amrita was rendered a legend the minute she rested her pen down when finishing this beautiful work of art.

Her novel Pinjar, published in 1950, described where the riots of 1947 left the women of the countries, and how badly they suffered the wrath of the communities, of the religions. this novel, which was then made into a film, was one of the greatest works of Amritaji.

She edited nagmani, a Punjabi literary magazine which she ran with Imroz for 33 years, though after the partition, she started writing in Hindi as well. she was the first recipient of the Punjabi Rattan Award. She also started writing spiritual themed books, like kaal chetna, agyat ka nimantran etc. her autobiographies included, Rasidi Ticket, Kala Gulab etc. The list of her works is almost endless, this phenomenon wrote more that 100 books containing poems, novels, autobiographies, and what not. These were then published in over 50 languages all over the world.

One of the most highly controversial women in India, she had an indefinite affection for the known, Sahir Ludhianvi, who found comfort in singer Sudha Malhotra, rather than the lovestruck Amrita. In a matter of time, she found her solace in painter Imroz. After many years of illness and disease, she left in peace, in her sleep at the of 85. Though her body died, her legacy lived on. she is still an asset to the world and its poets, and loved dearly on both sides of the India-Pakistan border. this is called a life well lived.

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