When I First met Amrita Pritam, the first prominent woman Punjabi poet (1919-2005) it was in July, when I lived in Karol Bagh, New Delhi.
When I called at her home her husband Imroz picked up the phone, and I made an appointment to see her. I am a great fan of her writing. Her stories touch my heart. "Rasidi Ticket," and "Yek Thi Anita" are two of her writings that made me cry. I really wanted to see her. I took the bus, which took almost two hours from Karol Bagh to her residence in Hauz Khas in South Delhi.
As a poet, I wanted to feel her writings. When I reached her home, her husband made a cup of tea for me. Amrita Pritam gave me more of her books. I see so much love in her beautiful face.
This is life.
life is not guaranteed to anyone,
life is short
life here on earth is for a short
every thing from heart that is pure and dedicated.
Only experience of life seem
love and only love
When I was reading this poem to her, I saw the open and large road,
which could be viewed from the window. The pedestrians also on the
road would usually be seen easily in the morning.
"I always wanted to be a poet," I told Amrita Pritam. She was a kind-hearted person and she was drawing a definite line in life. "We need to have patience to be happy in every situation when we write," she said to me. "Yes, to be patient in every pain and difficulty'," I said, expressing my own suppressed thought. "But one important thing is that in any situation means only those kinds of situations which can be solved in an easy way."
While I was speaking, her husband again offered me one more cup of tea. "It is really a different pleasure to have tea, isn't it?" I smiled at her.
I wished in that moment for the day never to end. "How wonderful it would be if we could live a life like a poem, wouldn't it?" In my next question Amrita Pritam only could make a shake of her head for words. I had been sentimental in heart. "Literature stands for the signification of peace; nothing could be as important as such peace in this earth." We had not still concluded our conversation and I had to go to my apartment.
I could not sleep well that night, only Amrita Pritam's words came echoing into my ears. The windows of my room were opened so the cold winds from outside entered. I had spent the whole night looking up at the moon sleeplessly.
I still remember that two hours when I found Amrita Pritam's residence.
Today, after a long time I'm remembering Amrita Pritam again. When
suddenly I hear that Amrita Pritam died, I am remembering how I was
trying to wipe away my tears.
I know this life has been no more than a momentary dream. A dream
remains merely a dream. Oh, why this momentary dream has made me
measurement of memory, peace and love. Poems and love can have a
number of definitions. The one definition among these on the measurement of love is the nearness of heart and the support of feeling. Of course a love can dissolve like a fantasy, but the ups and downs of fantasy's air wing is never a love. If love is accepted in an easy and simple way, love is a decoration, a worship.
And now I am thinking I have fallen in love with Amrita Pritam's writing.
Journalist and story Writer Kamala Sarup is an editor for http://www.mediaforfreedom.com/. She specializes in in-depth reporting and writing on peace, anti-war, women, terrorism, democracy, and development. Some of her publications are: Women's Empowerment in South Asia, Nepal (booklets); Prevention of Trafficking in Women Through Media, (book); Efforts to Prevent Trafficking in for Media Activism (media research). She has also written two collections of stories.