Interesting Facts About Amrita Pritam

Amrita Pritam Facts

Amrita Pritam was one of the best known female authors and poets. She wrote fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and essays. Spanning from the 18th century to the Partition of India, till her death in 2005, she has over 100 works to her name and was honored with some of the highest awards in the country including the Sahitya Akademi, Bharatiya Jnanpith, and Padma Vibhushan. Here are a few interesting facts about her :

  • Amrita Pritam was born in British India in Gujranwala, Punjab which now falls under Pakistan. She moved to Lahore with her father when she was 11 after her mother died.

  • She had been betrothed to Pritam Singh in her childhood and she married him in 1936, at the age of 16. It is from him that she gets her last name Pritam. However, her marriage wasn’t a happy one and she left him in 1960.

a Young Amrita Pritam

  • After her mother’s death, Amrita found solace in writing. Her first publication was an anthology of poetry, ‘Amrit Lehran’ (Immortal Waves). Which got published when she was just 16.

  • As British India was divided into Independent India and Pakistan, Amrita moved from Lahore to New Delhi. Her poem ‘Ajj akhaan Waris Shah nu,’ expresses her sorrow and horror over the violence accompanying the partition.

  • Amrita worked at ‘Lahore Radio Station’ until partition. In India, she worked with ‘All India Radio’.

  • Though she wrote in Hindi and Punjabi, her works became so popular in the 1960s, they were translated into many languages including English, Danish, Japanese, French, and Mandarin.

Pinjar by Amrita Pritam was made into a Bollywood movie

  • Many films were inspired by her novels, the best known being ‘Pinjar’, which released in 2003 and won the Filmfare Best Art Direction Award and National Film Award – Special Jury Award. Some others are the 1965 movie ‘Kadambari’ which was based on her book ‘Dharti Sagar te Sippiyan’ and Daaku(1976) was based on ‘Unah Di Kahani’.

  • ​She was the first to get the Punjab Rattan Award. This award is given by the government of Punjab to achievers in the field of art, literature, science, technology, culture, and politics.

Amrita Pritam with Sahir Ludhianvi

  • Amrita was the first woman to win the renowned Sahitya Akademi Award. She won in 1956 for her poem ‘Sunehade’ (Messages). The poem is considered to be her magnum opus.

  • Amrita Pritam is said to have had an unrequited affection for poet Sahir Ludhianvi. Their love is narrated in her autobiography, Rasidi Ticket. When another woman came into Sahir’s life, Amrita Pritam found solace in the companionship of the artist and writer Imroz who she would spend the last forty years of her life with.

Check out 5 most memorable books by Amrita Pritam here.

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