“When I wrapped myself with your being our bodies turned inwards in contemplation Our limbs intertwined Like blossoms in a garland Like an offering at the altar of the spirit Our names, slipping out of our lips, Became a sacred hymn . . . ” (from Adi Dharam by Amrita Pritam).
Acclaimed as the doyenne of Punjabi literature, Amrita Pritam received many awards, including India s highest literary award, the Jnanpith, in 1981. Born in Gujranwala, now in Pakistan, in 1919, she came to India after the partition of the subcontinent in 1947. Her best-known work is a classic poem, addressed to the great eighteenth-century Sufi poet Waris Shah, in which she laments the carnage of Partition and calls on him to give voice from his grave. Amrita met Imroz, a well-known artist, in the 1960s and they became lifelong companions. They stayed together for more than forty years, till her death, after a long illness, in October 2005.
“Amrita Imroz: A Love Story” offers living glimpses of the sacred hymn of Amrita Pritam and Imroz s life together. Uma Trilok had the rare opportunity to witness their remarkable love story and the passionate bond that they shared for so many years. In this moving tribute she communicates her sense of deep wonder at their unique and unconventional relationship, as also her profound admiration for the creative energy of these two extraordinary individuals.
Confused between Love and Friendship, two extremely talented people decide to travel through a single road, hand in hand: Cuckoo of Punjab, Amrita Pritam and Admirer of beauty, Imroz. We get more than a view of this love story which will survive many hurdles and extends reach beyond death. In the book Uma Trilok opens a window to the room of the couple in question. What we have to do is just peep through the curtained window and experience what the couple feels about the relation.
It is in the end of their journey together, the author comes in touch with the couple. This helps the author and the book to pass thoughts to the readers, in person. The book is a visual experience for it contains many paintings by Imroz which is intriguing and throws light to the relation of the couple in the question. It is more of like a reflection of Amrita’s personality in Imroz’s mind. Not in colour, but enjoyable for every visible detail, the pictures show the talent of Imroz and his commitment to Amrita. Adding to the visual treat is some photographs from the personal collection which speaks a lot. To summarise, it is a poetic book on a special love. For those who have read Amrita and reviewed Imroz’s pictures, the book must be an entirely different product, probably an experience of recollection and reflection. However, for me, it works as an appetizer to begin reading Amrita Pritam and review paintings of Imroz and more importantly to know the individuals and their thoughts.
I write a lot, which keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. There is always something to write about, always a new story to craft. Not writing, for me, is like trying to hold back a sneeze. Learning to write was the most powerful influence in my life. I can still remember the awe I felt when I realized I could put real words onto paper and tell out a story. From that first ‘a-ha’ moment I knew I wanted to write.
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