Amrita Pritam, an author and a poet I adore, rather I revere her. I often wonder if I’d be able to write like her or even talk like her. Her poems come under what’s called as progressive romantic writing. That term is pretty simple to understand if you understand her. She was a woman of substance. A headstrong woman. Rebellious. And full of life. She was more than her love for Sahir and Imroz. She was all that love means and will mean. She meant every word she penned. I don’t feel she ever needed to pluck a word and infuse in her works because WORDS WERE HER. Words were inherently present in her. Even while talking to the camera she seems so natural and so lyrical. Effortless.

This can be easily understood from these words she spoke while talking about her and Sahir –

मेरे और साहिर के दरम्यान दो दीवारें थी। एक खामोशी की जो हमेशा बरकरार रही और दूसरी भाषा की। मैं पंजाबी में नज़्म कहती, साहिर उर्दू में।इस दीवार ने कभी मेरी नज्मों को साहिर तक पलनाही पहुंचने दिया।
(Taken from Rajya Sabha documentary that I watch on repeat)

Recently, after reading one of my WhatsApp story, a prominent person from my contact list wrote to me, I can smell Amrita’s spirit in you. And that left me elated. It’s pretty evident if you know me or try to understand me. Yes, I can be shy but I never shy away from doing what I aim to do! And I am least bothered with what the world thinks of my choices. My choices are mine. I make my way. And that’s Amrita’s spirit. That’s what she has given me.

She writes –
यह एक शाप है, यह एक वर है
और जहाँ भी
आज़ाद रूह की झलक पड़े,
समझना वह मेरा घर है।

I lean on to only a few poets for comfort. But Amrita Pritam is a name that naturally comes to me when I am hit with a bout of loneliness or insomnia (I am penning this post at 539 am, yet another terrible bout of insomnia and Amrita just visited me again.) Her words cling on to my soul and in no time I am teary-eyed.

This is the one that makes me misty-eyed and happy, simultaneously –

मैं तैनू फ़िर मिलांगी
कित्थे? किस तरह पता नहीं
शायद तेरे ताखियल दी चिनग बण के
तेरे केनवास ते उतरांगी
जा खोरे तेरे केनवास दे उत्ते
इक रह्स्म्यी लकीर बण के
खामोश तैनू तक्दी रवांगी

If you ever happen to fall in love with an artist these words will reasonate with you. And if you ever love someone unconditionally, these words will come to you.

Also, here’s a bit for those in Denial, obviously by Amrita Pritam.

Ve mai tidke ghare da pani
Kal tak nahi rehna
Es pani de kann tirhaye
Treh de hothan wangu
Oh mere thande ghut dia mitra!
Keh de jo kujh kehna

As I pen this I see her image flash in front of my eyes, holding the pallu of her saree and a pen in her hand, pondering. Thinking, perhaps, about her Sahir. Filling the pages of her soul with one name – Sahir (much like she did while filming for an interview.)

Amrita Pritam is an essence, a nectar, true to her name; consider this, the next time you read her works.

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