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Amrita Pritam

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Pinjar

Pinjar: a novel ahead of its times
Nirupama Dutt

One of the first voices portraying the pain of Partition was that of Punjabi poet and fiction writer Amrita Pritam. And for a long time the only feminine voice viewing Partition from a woman’s perspective. Chroniclers of the women’s stories of Partition like Urvashi Butalia, Ritu Menon and Kamla Bhasin were to enter the area nearly four decades later.
What made her first poem after Partition Ajj Akhan Waris Shah Nu… most poignant was the fact that Amrita was eyewitness to the horrors of Partition and also a victim. She was among the thousands who migrated from West Punjab to make their home across the fence. Her two most outstanding works literary works are the Waris Shah poem, penned in winter after the bloody month of August in 1947, and her novel Pinjar, which appeared in the early fifties.
The novel was too radical for its times because the wounds had not yet healed and the communal hatred as still at its peak. Even in those difficult times, Amrita was able to write a novel that saw the situation from the point of view of the other. In fact, it is only recently that a Pakistani filmmaker Sabiha Sumar has been able to tell a similar story on celluloid. It is this novel that has brought the ailing 86-year-old writer the La Route des Indes Literary Prize from France for its French translation. Long ago, the novel had been translated by Khushwant Singh and published with the title The Skeleton by Jaico. It was reprinted when Chandra Prakash Dwivedi made it into a feature film in 2002.
Amrita’s partner Imroz says the award came as a surprise because they were unaware of the translation by Denis Matringe. Denis was a French teacher in Lahore who heard someone singing Heer and was inspired to learn Punjabi. He also married a Punjabi girl later. Speaking of this novel, Imroz says: "It was very radical. A Muslim boy abducts a Hindu girl and she chooses to remain with him rather than be rehabilitated in India after Partition. It was a saga of love of a couple thrown in a situation not of their making, but they rise above the situation with love and caring." Imroz reveals that a number of filmmakers toyed with the idea of making a film on it and some contracts were also signed. But each time the project was given up because it was felt that the story would not be palatable to the masses. "It was only when the new century came, did someone dare to film it," Imroz adds.
Amrita is too ill to remark on this surprise award but when Dwivedi’s film was made, she was able to see it at home on a DVD although she was bedridden. I recall her saying, "The most terrible happening of the times was the Partition. I still shiver when I think of those blood-drenched days. I had already spoken of the fate of women in the frenzy in my poetry. After Partition Shahnawaz Khan and Mrinalini Sarabhai were involved in the rehabilitation of abducted girls. I would listen to the stranger than fiction stories that they told me. It was thus that Puro of Pinjar took shape and the novel wrote itself.

Amrita Pritam: the women who lived life in her own way...


Amrita Pritam was born on 31 August 1919...
And over the years she has spread the medssage of love...
The unconditional love...
The love which is just free flowing...
Love which need no boundry...
The love which is one sided...
Which means if u love some one , it is not needed that he/she also love you...
It is your idea...
It is your thought...
It is your life...
Andreal love is unilateral..
It is one sided...
Youlove becuase u cant do any thing else...
Love is universal...
Love is only thing whihc is real...

The Goddess of Defiance...


Amrita Pritam is the goddess of defiance...
A rebel and a recalcitrant, even a revolutionary. Her works, especially the poetry, tempts the reader to break off the existential contrarieties and contradictions of life. Yet one is resisted from administering his/her thought-process to transform the society. Like the mirror, her principal task was to reflect the society as it subsisted with stink and flavour; good and bad. In truth, it was her creative talent wrought up with the twinge of bereavement that came of age during the dark days of the Partition of Punjab.
Small wonder then, that one of the most beautifully weird poems ever written by Amrita was the New Heer or Aankhaan Waris Shah Nu… which was addressed "to the author of the Punjabi romantic epic of immortal love".
Born on 31 August 1919, Amrita Pritam had a distorted childhood (except the case that Rabindranath Tagore cajoled her once)--lost her mother when she was 11, and at a later adolescent stage, her poetry was something which her father thoroughly despised because of its unconventional tone. What he anticipated from his exceptionally talented daughter was religious verse and not the sensuous and spontaneous outpourings of love.
Infact, she often provoked the whole community when she essayed to transcend her intense sexual impulse into poetic images of rare beauty. It has been said of her that "her poetry depicts the feeling of a woman in love. She has loved dearly and suffered terribly. She loves with her whole being and considers her personality incomplete unless the man condescends to transform it into some thing, pure and sublime…"
However, to confine Pritam to such a limited circumference is to ignore her other monumental works. The Indian fraternity gave immediate recognition to her seminal collection of poems Sunehra (Messages) which was published in 1955. It was the book made her the first lady recipient of the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in the following year. Couched in sensuous and spontaneous outpourings on the theme of love, these poems radiate with "an unearthly glory without losing contact with the earth". It can be affirmatively said that Sunehra is indubitably Pritam's finest, in fact, the most sparkling collection ever written.
In Sunehra, she is totally involved in her personal anguish and he who has "filled her dreams since adolescence and being of victim of social and religious convictions, has failed to reciprocate her love with the intensity and ardor it demanded …she is eagerly expectant of the day when her love will be reciprocated and thus mellowed".
As the best and finest are always untranslatable, so is Sunehra, failed to reach a wider audience, particularly in other languages. Yet after the legendary poet Sitakanta Mohapatra, it is Amrita Pritam's works which have been translated in English, Albanian, Bulgarian, French, Polish, Russian, Spanish and all the 21 Indian languages.
Equally astounding is her rich literary corpus --she had published 75 books -of which thee are 28 novels, 18 volumes of verse, five short stories and 16 miscellaneous prose. Besides, she also edited Punjabi literary journal Nagmani. Two of her novels Dharti Sagar te Sippiyan (1965) and Unah Di Kahani (1976) have been made into her films entitled "Kadambari" and "Daaku" for which she even composed songs.
It is quite often alleged of Pritam that she has no real sense of history; nor is she a philosophical poet interested in the dynamic of ideas" but these charges stand no when her works are read in a form they were written. The 1947 Partition made Punjabi poets more self conscious of their social responsibilities. If Punjabi litterateur Mohan Singh celebrated the glory of Taj Mahal, he also depicted the untold sufferings of the thousand labourers who toiled for twenty long years to fulfill the dream of Shah Jahan.
So was Pritam's, who painted an intensely grim but honest account of the distorted social assemblage where women and peasants were ruthlessly exploited. As KS Duggal observes: "She (Pritam) started writing as a sissy. But it was a heart of a mother in her that shed tears of blood immediately after the Partition at in insensate massacre of innocent men and women on both sides of the border."
Deeply influenced by Baudelaire (Ode to Beauty), Mayakovsky, Pushkin, Tolstoy, Gothe, Schiller, Freud and Tagore, Pritam's works deal with the axiomatic problems of life, wants and denials of common men and women. In these, she extensively brought to bear parable to delineate her feelings. Her other acclaimed poems like Kasturi (Music) and Nagamani (Serpent's Jewel) published in 1959 and 1964 respectively illustrate her "strivings for her possibilities of life".
In Chak Nambar Chatti (Village Number Thirty Six) published in1964, one finds a completely matured Pritam addressing serious issues. Victorian minded readers were taken aback when candidly discussed sex of a girl who wants to play a double role --prostitute and wife, just because she passionately loves him.
A conspicuous message, which emerges from the novel, is that obscenity is less earthy because the protagonist is concerned with moral and ethical standards. Balwant Gargi, a long time friend of Pritam, perceptively notes: "She feels that where values end, obscenity begins."
Pritam's short stories, as intense as they are prolific, remain a class apart. Unusual depth, power and artistry characterize many of them, especially Ik Shehar De Maut, Tessari Aurat and Panj Vareh Lambi Sarak. For their precise and pruning, these stories are like those resourceful hostesses who triumphantly succeed in giving a large dance in a small room.
Her autobiography Rashidi Tickat (The Revenue Stamp) first published in Punjabi in (1976) is an honest chronicle written with a warmth and truthfulness. By all means, it may not equal with Nirad C. Chaudhuri's classic The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian or RK Narayan's My Days, but it has all the ingredients to take a place next to Dom Moreas' My Son's Father, which Stephen Spender aptly described as a minor classic.
Unfortunately, this too is not bereft of controversy. At one time, its fate was about to be hermetically sealed --but that somehow could not be materialized. On the following year, it appeared in both the Hindi and English versions.
Retrospectively, when Pritam in the course of a conversation with Khushwant Singh disclosed her plans to write an autobiography, the latter unwittingly remarked: "What is there to your life? Just an incident or two… you could use the back of a revenue stamp to write it."
In a brief prologue to The Revenue Stamp, Pritam shot back, "Whatever happened in my life happened between the layers of thought that found their way into novels and poems. What was left? Still, I thought I might write a few lines --something to complete the account book of my life and at the end, seal it with this revenue stamp as it were. Or am I with this revenue stamp setting a seal to my novels and poems…my entire, literary work…I wonder." In the contemporary Punjabi literature, she is an indisputable phenomenon who has virtually no parallel.

The Virgin


The Virgin

When I moved into your bed
I was not alone-there weretwo of us
A married woman and a virgin
To sleep with you
I had to offer the virgin in me
I did so
This slaughter is permissiblein law
Not the indignity of it
And I bore the onslaught ofthe insult
The next morningI looked at my blood stainedhands
I washed my hands
But the moment I stood before the mirror
I found her standing there
The one whom I thought I had slaughtered last night
Oh God!Was it too dark in your bed
I had to kill one and I killed the other ?
- translated from the original Punjabi by Kartar Singh Duggal

A Needle of Light : Short Story by Amrita Pritam


Amrita Pritam
A Needle of Light
A Shirt Story
Our destiny is tattered, the torn patches of my country need a needle of light. With a phulkari in my hand I was threading a needle when the earth shook and broke the needle of light.
Along time back, under the stars and a rainbow, evolution brought into being a woman. The woman was a total being-we have fragmented her. Now she has many shapes and forms. She is a maid and a mannequin. She is a midwife and a mother. She walks our streets with shame dripping from her. We have interrupted the cause of evolution to tear a woman apart.
I sit watching Amrita Pritam expound on womanhood, as names and stars, meteors and moons break on the far away sky. I had always thought of her as a poet of great power. Today she speaks intensely on woman as destiny, and the man's designs that have shaped her. She believes too in the Great Coming. She is not concerned whether the Messiah will come in the shape of a man or a woman. To her, things and concepts are whole and total, patterns and universe, not pieces and fragments. Why does man in the most passionate moments of love still believe in the many forms and shapes of woman? Why do not the mind and body of the women integrate in man's consciousness, in that supreme moment of love? If these ever blend, even the stars will break from the sky in homage to cosmic fireworks.
For Amrita Pritam, love is admiration of woman's mind and body. A woman should come to a man as a body, as a poem and as a person-all blended and fused into one total being.She does not chide the male ego in the process. Man, she says, was a hunter, as evolution put him on the highways of time and space. Woman was then a transmitter of knowledge. Yes, from the very prenatal state, she had to tell a child -what was wind and storm, tree and bird, and what was an apple and snake, long before a holy book said it in so many words.
"No one", says Amrita, "has ever peeled a woman. A woman has more layers of consciousness; her awareness of history from the pristine times to the present, is deeper. For she typifies not only creativity, but transmits to the succeeding generations of women what it is to create and to perpetuate through the ecstasy of agony. A woman in the present disintegrated form is the result of human attempt to separate the body from the mind, the temporal from the spiritual. A time will come, when the two will be reunified with the sun, the stars and the moon, witnessing a grand integration."
There was a time when I thought that Amrita's world was a world of pure and sheer poetry. Sitting with her today, has been an encounter of the third, the visionary kind. A perfect man never comes unless a perfect woman has been evolved. Man's perfection will flow from woman's reaching the summit of creation first. It is in reaching that summit, that a woman will pull up the man and in the interchanging of the mind and the body, the spirit will assume flesh and the body will be etherealised like an airy being. No, she does not accept the idea of the human form eventually getting disembodied. A man and woman, the classic syndrome would be changed in the' grand resurrection of the perfect man and the perfect woman.
I go back to her-this time to her work. Fragments and pieces dominate her imagery. I think of her beautiful images of how "a quarter of a moon and a handful of stars have occupied our sky". She is conscious that human passion and quest go beyond the stars, the moon and the sky that we paint. These are the images of a woman, who sees her creative destiny, and is yet conscious as much of her roots in the present, as of her dreams of the distant future.
No poet has perhaps as many images of stars, moon, sun and the sky as Amrita has woven into the embroidery of her poetry, dreams and vision. No wonder then, that in one of her exquisite poems she casts herself in the role of a woman embroidering a phulkari, a phulkari of light:Who will ever stitch a torn phulkari of light? In the niche of the sky the sun lights a lamp.But who will ever light a lampon the parapet of my heart?
Such is, according to her, a woman's lot in a torn and divided world. Amrita says, "historically, man is an exterminator of woman-a destroyer." "A time can come," Amrita says in yet another poem called Incident, "When man would repay the debt he owes to the woman he had burnt and destroyed. But, who will ever pay the debt that man owes to woman's womb? It is a debt beyond paying, as much as it is a thought beyond thinking."
In her book Woman, A Point of View a veritable female testament of faith, Amrita Pritam thinks of a woman as a flower of flesh:
On the branches of this earth Flowers of flesh grow every day. Everyday they are plucked and shaken off but one day a flower of flesh will grow that storms will not shakethat hands will not pluck; A fragrance will spread far and wide and usher in an unknown peace.

Stench of Kerosene


Stench of Kerosene
Short Story by Amrita Pritam
Translated by Khushwant Singh
Outside, A MARE NEIGHED. Guleri recognised the neighing and an out of the house. The mare was from her parents village. She put her head against its neck as if it were the door of her father's house.
Guleri's parents lived in Chamba. A few miles from her husband's village which was on high ground, the road curved and descended steeply down-hill. From this point one could see Chamba lying a long way away at one's feet. Whenever Guleri was homesick she would take her husband Manak and go up to this point. She would see the homes of Chamba twinkling in the sunlight and would come back with her heart aglow with pride.
Once every year, after the harvest had been gathered in, Guleri was allowed to spend a few days with her parents. They sent a man to Lakarmandi to bring her back to Chamba. Two of her friends too, who were also married to boys outside Chamba, came home at the same time of the year. The girls looked forward to this annual meeting, when they spent many hours every day talking about their experiences, their joys and sorrows. They went about the streets together. Then there was the harvest festival. The girls would have new dresses made for occasion. They would have their duppattas dyed, starched and sprinkled with mica. They would buy glass bangles and silver ear-rings.
Guleri always counted the days to the harvest. When autumn breezes cleared the skies of the monsoon clouds she thought of little besides her home in Chamba. She went about her daily chores—fed the cattle, cooked food for her husband's parents and then sat back to work out how long it would be before someone would come for her from her parent's village. And now, once again, it was time for her annual visit. She caressed tte mare joyfully, greeted her father's servant Natu, and made ready to leave next day.
Guleri did not have to put her excitement into words: The expression on her face was enough. Her husband, Manak pulled at his hookah and closed his eyes. It seemed like either as if he did not like the tobacco, or that he could not bear to face his wife.
"You will come to the fair at Chamba, won't you?"
"come even if it is only for the day", she pleaded.
Manak put aside his chillum but did not reply.
"Why don't you answer me?" asked Guleri in little temper. "Shall I tell you something?"
"I know what you are going to say: 'I only go to my parents once a year!' well, you have never been stopped before."
"Then why do you want to stop me this time?" she demanded.
"Just this time" pleaded Manak.
"Your mother has not said anything. Why do you stand in my way?" Guleri was childishly stubborn.
"My mother..." Manak did not finish his sentence.
On the long awaited morning, Guleri was ready long before dawn. She had no children and therefore no problem of either having to leave them with her husband parents or taking them with her. Natu saddled the mare as she took leave of Manak's parents. They patted her head and blessed her.
"I will come with you for a part of the way", said Manak.
Guleri was happy as they set out. Under her dupatta she hid Manak's flute.
After the village of Khajiar, the road descended steeply to Chamba. There Guleri took out the flute from beneath her duppatta and gave it to Manak. She took Manak's hand in hers and said, " come now, play your flute!" But Manak, lost in his thoughts paid no heed. "Why don't you play your flute?" asked Guleri, coaxingly. Manak looked at her sadly, then, putting the flute to his lips, he blew a strange anguished wail of sound.
"Guleri, do not go away", he begged her. "I ask you again, do not go this time". He handed her back the flute, unable to continue.
"But why?" she asked. "You come over on the day of the fair and we will return together. I promise you, I will not stay behind".
Manak did not ask again.
They stopped by the road-side. Natu took the mare a few paces ahead to leave the couple alone. It crossed Manak's mind that is was this time of the year, seven years ago, that he and his friends had come on this very road to go to the harvest festival in Chamba. And it was at this fair that Manak had first seen Guleri and they had bartered their hearts to each other. Later, managing to meet alone, Manak remembered taking her hand and telling her, "you are like unripe corn—full of milk".
"Cattle go for unripe corn", Guleri had replied, freeing her hand with a jerk. "Human beings like it better roasted. If you want me, go and ask for my hand from my father".
Amongst Manak's kinsmen it was customary to settle the bride-price before the wedding. Manak was nervous because he did not know the price Guleri's father would demand from him. But Guleri's father was prosperous and had lived in cities. He had sworn that he would not take money for his daughter, but would give her to a worthy young man of a good family. Manak, he had decided, answered these requirements and very soon after, Guleri and Manak were married. Deep in memories, Manak was roused by Guleri's hand on his shoulder.
What are you dreaming of?" she teased him.
Manak did not answer. The mare neighed impatiently and Guleri thinking of the journey ahead of her, arose to leave. "Do you know the blue-bell wood a couple of miles from here"? she asked, "it is said that anyone who goes through it becomes deaf".
Yes
"It seems to me as if you had passed through the bluebell wood; you do not hear anything that I say".
"You are right, Guleri. I cannot hear anything that you are saying to me" replied Manak with a deep sigh.
Both of them looked at each other. Neither understood the other's thoughts.
"I will go now. you had better return home. you have come a long way", said Guleri genuly.
"you have walked all this distance. Better get on the mare", replied Manak.
"Here, take your flute"
"You take it with you".
"Will you come and play it on the day on the fair?" asked Guleri with a smile. The sun shone in her eyes Manak turned his face away Guleri perplexed, shrugged her shoulders and took the road to Chamba. Manak returned to his home.
Entering the house, he slumped listless, on his charpoy
"You have been away a long time", exclaimed his mother. "Did you go all the way to Chamba?"
"not all the way; only to the top of the hill". Manak's voice was heavy.
"Why do you croak like an old woman", asked his mother severely. "Be a man".
Manak wanted to retort, "You are a woman; why don't you cry like one for a change!" But he remained silent
Manak and Guleri had been married seven years, but she had never borne a child and Manak's mother had made a secret resolve: "I will not let it go beyond the eighth year".
This year, true to her decision, she had paid Rs. 500 to get him a second wife and now she had waited, as Manak knew, for the time when Guleri went to her parents to bring in the new bride.
Obedient to his mother and to custom, Manak's body responded to the new woman. But his heart was dead within him.
In the early hours of one morning he was smoking his chillum when an old friend happened to pass by. "Ho Bhavani, where are you going so early in the morning?"
Bhavani stopped. He had a small bundle on his shoulder. "Nowhere in particular", he replied evasively.
"You must be on your way to some place or the other", exclaimed Manak. "What about a smoked?" Bhavani sat down on his haunches and took the chillum from Manak's hands. "I am going to Chamba for the fair", he replied at last.
Bhavani's words pierced through Manak's heart like a needle.
"Is the fair today?"
"It is the same day every year", replied Bhavani drily. "Don't you remember, we were in the same party seven years ago?" Bhavani did not say any more but Manak was conscious of the other man's rebuke and he felt uneasy. Bhavani put down the chiluum and picked up his bundle. His flute was sticking out of the bundle. Bidding Manak farewell, he walked away. Manak's eyes remained on the flute till Bhavani disappeared from view.
Next afternoon when Manak was in his fields he saw Bhavani coming back but deliberately he looked the other way. He did not want to talk to Bhavani or hear anything about the fair. But Bhavani came round the other side and sat down in front of Manak. His face was sad, lightless as a cinder.
"Guleri is dead", said Bhavani in a flat voice.
"What?"
"When she heard of your second marriage, she soaked her clothes in kerosene and set fire to them".
Manak, mute with pain, could only stare and feel his own life burning out.
The days went by. Manak resumed his work in the fields and ate his meals when they were given to him. But he was like a man dead, his face quite blank, his eyes empty.
"I am not his spouse", complained his second wife. "I am just someone he happened to marry".
But quite soon she was pregnant and Manak's mother was well pleased with her new daughter-in-law. She told Manak about his wife's condition, but he looked as if he did not understand, and his eyes were still empty.
His mother encouraged her daughter-in-law to bear with her husband's moods for a few days. As soon as the child was born and placed in his father's lap, she said, Manak would change.
A son was duly born to Manak's wife; and his mother, rejoicing, bathed the boy, dressed him in fine clothes and put him in Manak's lap. Manak stared at the new born baby in his lap. He stared a long time uncomprehending, his face as usual, expressionless. Then suddenly the blank eyes filled with horror, and Manak began to scream. "take him away!" he shrieked hysterically, "Take him away! He stinks of kerosene."

Amrita: life sketch

Amrita Pritam
Amrita Pritam was born in 1919 in Gujranwala in a part of India which later became Pakistan. She was the only child of a school teacher and a poet. Her mother died when she was eleven and she grew up with adult responsibilities. She began to write at an early age, and her first collection was published when she was only sixteen years old, the year she married an editor to whom she was engaged in early childhood. In 1947 at the time of the Partition she moved to New Delhi, where she began to write in Hindi as opposed to Punjabi, her mother tongue. She worked until 1961 for All India Radio. She was divorced in 1960 and since then her work has become more explicitly feminist, drawing on her unhappy marriage in many of her stories and poems. A number of her works have been translated into English, including her autobiographical works Black Rose and Revenue Stamp.
There was a grief I smokedin silence, like a cigaretteonly a few poems fellout of the ash I flicked from it. Translated by Jennifer Barber and Irfan Malik.
Writing Available Online
Wild Flower, a short story in Little Magazine.
Sahiban, a short story in Little Magazine.
Stench of Kerosene. Translated by Khushwant Singh, published in Land of Five Rivers (Orient Paperbacks).
About Amrita Pritam
A tribute in bharatnet.com
Biography at punjabilok
A needle of light. Article by Manmohan Singh.

AMRITA PRITAM (B 1919) is amongst the outstanding literary figures of present-day India, she is the only woman recipient of the Sahitya Akademi’s award for literature. Amrita has published over two dozen collection of poems, short-stories and novels. The Skeleton is the first Punjabi novel to be translated into English. She is an eminent Punajbi poet and a prolific writer. She has to her credit twenty-four novels, fifteen collections of short stories and twenty-three volumes of prose. Her works have been defined as a 'woman's lyric cry against existential fate and societal abuse', and have been widely translated. She was conferred the D.Litt. Degree by five universities. She is the first woman recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award and was honored with Padma Shree in 1969. Two of her novels have been made into films. She received the Vaptarow Award in 1980 and the Bhartiya Jnanpith Award in 1982.
Lal Dhagee ka Rishta (HINDI) A selection of 183 short essays and stories from Gyanpeeth Award winner.
Pinjar (URDU) An Urdu translation of a famous novel by India's foremost woman writer. • Pinjar (HINDI) A highly acclaimed novel by a renowned writer. The story centers around the partition of India.
Ek Thi Saara (HINDI) A life sketch of Sara Shagufa from the pen of famous Indian writer and poetess.
Kachchi Sarak (HINDI) A novel from the pen of famous Indian writer and poetess.
Fifty Fragments on Innerself Poignant Vignettes from Asia's leading writer and poetess. This heart warming book chronicles 50 memoirs of remarkable people and outstanding personalities. • Ishq Sahasr Nam - Love's Many Dimension (HINDI) This survey, by renowned and much honored fiction writer and poet, captures myriad dimensions of love in poetry and prose through the past five centuries.
Kahaaniyon Ke Aangan Main (Hindi) A collection of twenty-eight short stories selected by the author herself for this anthology.
Unchaas Din (HINDI) A much acclaimed novel by a famous woman writer of our times. • Adaalat (HINDI) A Novel originally titled " Yeh Sach Hai" by a much honored and widely acclaimed writer of fiction and poetry.
Alif Laila - Hazaar Dastan (HINDI) A collection of 29 stories of love and romance by India's famous and much honored woman writer.
The Other Dimension The Other dimension is a search for that other dimension - the subconscious mind and its experience - through the medium of the dream.
A Slice of Life - Selected Works This anthology of selected writings of much honored creative writer Amrita Pritam includes her 44 poems, 19 short stories and 25 essays reflecting her life-time achievement. Whether she is romantic or a realist, whether she writes of love or of protest, she stays first and foremost in terms of
The Revenue Stamp - An Autobiography The Revenue Stamp is an intense experience of search of the truth. It is Amrita Pritam's journey of reflection and contemplation down her own full and creative life.An autobiography is generally taken to be the gospel of truth. The basic truth is the writer's own need. This
Safar (URDU) This book is an Urdu translation of Amrita Pritam's Akademi award-winning Punjabi poems 'Sunehure'.
Paanch Baras Lambi Sadak (HINDI) This anthology includes 1 novel and five short stories of renowned and much acclaimed poet and fiction writer Amrita Pritam.
Shadows of Words - An Autobiography This is yet another autobiography of Amrita Pritam, after Rasidi Ticket, published way back in the 1970s. Not only does it capture her entire lifespan in its fold, but its warp and weft entails an entirely novel depiction on a spiritual plane. • Aawazen (HINDI) A compendium of 125 poems from across the world, this volume contains poems translated by the editor herself.
Sometimes I Tell This Tale To The River A recent collection of dreams and vision translated into English from Punjabi original. This volume is an omnibus collection of prose and poetry of one of India's foremost poet, and prose writer who has been honored variously.
Chiragon Ki Raat ( HINDI ) A collection of 29 pieces of creative writing by India's famous poetess and writer, who has been honored with several awards.
Kaaya Ke Daaman Main ( HINDI ) A collection of 23 pieces by India's famous poetess and fiction writer whose writings have been widely acclaimed.
The Skeleton and Other Writings This book is the first Punjabi novel PINJAR to be translated into English.

padma vibhushan to Amrita Pritam

Padma Vibhushan for Amrita Pritam, Narlikar, VenkatchalliahJanuary

Well-known Punjabi litterateur Amrita Pritam, noted astronomer Jayant Vishnu Narlikar and former Chief Justice of India M N Venkatachalliah have been selected for the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award.
Bengali film director and actor Soumitra Chatterjee, film director Sampuran Singh Gulzar, veteran journalist M V Kamath and former Japanese prime minister Yoshiro Mori are among 19 persons to be presented with the Padma Bhushan.
Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly and his deputy Rahul Dravid are among 74 persons to be honoured with the Padma Shri.
No one has been awarded the highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna.
Padma Vibhushan:Amrita Pritam (Literature & Education), Delhi Jayant Vishnu Narlikar (Science & Engineering, Astronomy), Pune M N Venkatachaliah (Public Affairs-Law), Bangalore


Amrita Pritam

Amrita Pritam (born 31 August 1919) is a household name in the Punjab, being the first most prominent woman Punjabi poet and fiction writer. After partition she made Delhi her second home. She was the first woman recipient of th Sahitya Akademi Award, the first Punjabi woman to receive the Padma Shree from the President of India in 1969. Though critical of the socialist camp, her works were translated in all the east European languages including French, Japanese and Danish. Mehfil, a quarterly from Michigan State University published an issue on her works. She got Jananpeeth award in 1982 for her lifetime contribution to Punjabi literature. She received three D Lit degrees from Delhi, Jabalpur and Vishva Bharti Universities in 1973 and 1983 respectively. Inspite of her poor health, she is still active writing and editing a monthly magazine in Punjabi Nagmani.

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