“When a man denies the power of a woman, he is denying his own subconscious.” Even since I read this quote, it has never ceased to resonate with me each time, and I find society is still unjust to women. In the present context, many of us will completely relate to with this quote, even though it was not so around 7-8 decades back. One such woman, fierce in opinion and at the same time profound in her outlook towards life is Amrita Pritam, one of the most celebrated woman novelists India has ever had.
She remains one of the most loved and inspiring names for lovers of literature from every generation. She felt deeply about atrocities and misery that people, especially women, go through because of socio-political conflicts. In her famous novel Pinjar (Skeleton), she meticulously depicted the pain of women who were victims of rapes and abduction, set during the Partition of India. Her poignant and hard-hitting narrative of Puro, a village girl, who met the same fate as a result of religious animosity, is unmissable. But apart from being a strong and independent personality, Pritam was an out and out romantic. In fact, through her verses and poems, she redefined the beauty of platonic love, that can be enjoyed through feelings. Throughout her career span, she received several awards that include the most coveted Sahitya Academy and Gyan Pith Awards.
On the occasion of her 100th birthday, let’s have look at some of her eternal verses that always fill the hearts of the readers with ultimate delight.
“Be it a blessing or be it a curse, wherever you get a glimpse of a free spirit, that’s where I reside.” What an extraordinary way to express the freedom of thought and spirit in such an impactful way.
“When you meet me, it feels like earning after a long day of hard work.” An emotion, soaked in deep love and yearning, that depicts the joy of meeting one’s beloved.
“The breeze that blows through your holy shrine, carrying the fragrance of your breath, I wish to unite to it.” The prayer for attaining salvation and seeking the refuge of the supreme power is simply beautiful.
“I feel as if my entire life has been a letter written to you, with every breath as words and each heartbeat as letters. I wish this had reached you so that I would not have to be dependent on language to express myself.” Can there be a better way to express the sublime feeling of unrequited love? Perhaps not.
“I will meet you, yet again. When, how, I don’t know, maybe I shall appear on your canvas, as the inspiration of your imagination.” This is one of the last poems written for her partner Imroz, in which she bids him adieu, and promises to be with him even in the afterlife.