1

Last day for receiving applications for a new Cricket Selection Committee

By Sunil Sarpal

After the ignominious exit from ICC T-20 tournament at the hands of England, Indian Cricket Team’s prestige was at stake. In order to save it’s face, BCCI had no other option but to sack the Selection Committee, led by Chetan Sharma. Even the BCCI President Saurav Ganguly was earlier shown the exit door.

The new BCCI President is Roger Binny, a former cricketer. And the process of forming the new Selection Committee has been under-way. It has become a norm in India that whenever Indian Team is defeated in a big tournament, changes and chopping of heads takes place.

The deadline to submit applications for the post of new selectors ends today, november 28th. According to InsideSports, BCCI is reported to have already received over 80 applications for vacancy of five selectors. The board will scrutinise the applications and will make announcement of the new selection committee in December 2022.

It is speculated that, some of the new faces such as, Shubham Gill, Prithvi Shah, Sanju Samson and Hooda may get the nod. In the bowling department too the return of Jasprit Bumrah will boost the already formidable bowling attack.

Ravi Shastri down the memory lane

If we talk about going down the memory lane, when Ravi Shastri was removed from the position of a Director, Team India, after his 2- term tenure, the team was performing very well except for out of form Virat Kohli. Ravi possesses the right ingredients and knowledge, about how to deal with the boys, which is a rare quality to lift the spirit of the game. Therefore, there are voices demanding for his return as Director, Team India. Whereas, Rahul Dravid’s tenure as Coach has not brought the positive results because coaching Team India is a different ball game. Whereas, Ravi’s invaluable inputs to India captain, time to time intervention in matter of significance and foresight were some of the qualities rarely found in a person.

Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni

With the induction of Roger Binny as new BCCI President, it is reported that his first call was to include MS Dhoni as Head Coach or Director, Team India T20. MS Dhoni is immensely talented, cool as a cucumber and his skills for man-management are extra-ordinary. It is hoped that MS Dhoni, if appointed, as Director, in coordination with Rahul Dravid as coach will do the best for the team, which takes Team India forward.

Time is ripe to include new legs because the demand of the game is to be fast and ferocious. Surya Kumar Yadav has proved time and again that the shorter version of the game’s demand is 360 degree. It is therefore absolutely necessary on the part of New Selection Committee to re-build the side and to not go by past reputation of the players.




What is reverse swing in fast bowling and … what is….?

What is reverse swing in fast bowling by Sunil Sarpal

Ans. When there is dew in the air, because of which, the outfield becomes wet and the ball tends to get wet too. The seam in the middle of the ball separates the ball on two sides. One side of the ball is kept shiny by rubbing and the other side kept wet or as it is. When delivered, the ball tends to drift towards the wet side even though the seam movement is kept in the opposite direction. Thus the movement of the ball becomes the undoing for the batters.

Here are a few more questions answered with what is a…

YORKER

Yorker is a very difficult delivery to pick.  It is bowled by fast bowler with such precision that it lands under the toe of the batsman’s bat.  Those fast bowlers they swing the ball in the air, bowl swinging Yorkers.  Waqar Yunis of Pakistan was one such player who exhibits this art to perfection.  He was called toe crusher.   Because of providing late in-swing in the air, the batsman is bumboozeled and in the process lose direction of the ball.  Instead of hitting the bat, the ball hits the toe of the foot and inflicts damage.  

BEAMER

Beamer is an illegal delivery.  When a fast-bowler bowls a delivery which lands above waist height of the batsman, it is called Beamer.  Firstly, umpire rules out such a ball as no-ball.   Since such delivery can inflict damage to the batsman, the umpire warns the bowler for repeating such a delivery.  If the bowler still persist with such a delivery, then he can be banned from playing and penalised with a fine too.

BOUNCER

To bowl a bouncer, the fast-bowler keeps the length of the delivery short, using his shoulder strength and digs the ball hard on the pitch.  Generally, bouncer after pitching jumps above shoulder height and becomes unplayable unless the batsman is equipped to hook or pull the ball.  Bouncers is also delivered with varying speed of the ball to dodge the batsman so that he mis-times the shot.  

OFF-SPIN AND LEG-SPIN

Both off-spin and leg-spin can be bowled with the help of either fingers or wrist.  When the slow-bowler gives more air to the ball, it automatically spins more.  And if the trajectory of the delivery is kept low, the ball spins less.  Now-a-days, the slow bowlers have learned the art of spinning wrong ones.  The off-spinner can bowl leg-spin by the magic of his fingers and vice-versa.  




Why India lost the World Cup semi-final to England

Sunil Sarpal analyses the 2022 ICC T20 World Cup – semi-final between England and India

Jos Buttler leads England to victory

England beat India comprehensively in the semis. England won the toss and decided to make first use of the ball.

After the match, Kapil Dev very rightly pointed out that Indians are chokers. (Although this tag was originally awarded to the South African team in 1991)

Before the start of the match, Sunil Gavaskar made a valid point – that Indians chase better than setting a target.

I personally attributed India’s defeat to ‘Law of Averages’ over any other pointer. One bad day in office and India is out of the ICC World Cup.

There are some valid questions on the selection of the side.

1) What is the utility of Axar Patel in the side? Does he fit into T-20 side, if yes, then on what basis – batting or bowling or in the category of being a bits and pieces player? He is neither a free flowing batsman, nor does he spin the ball judiciously.

2) What is Ashwin’s contribution in the side? Batsmen hit him for sixers at will. He is effective only on turning tracks.

3) Rohit Sharma being the captain of the side, performed little in terms of batting. How can a non-performing captain lead from the front?

4) In this match, both Bhuvi and Arshdeep were not disciplined in line and length and gave room invariably to batsmen to play freely.

England Captain Buttler, once settled, scored heaps of runs and India did not have the arsenal to get his scalp.

Indians batted poorly during first 6 overs and scored only 36 runs for the loss of KL Rahul. Another noticeable fact is, that Kohli does not score as quickly as Hardik or Surya K Yadav.

Making a mockery of Kartik vs Pant selection does not leave a good taste and is not a healthy sign for their confidence. As if this is a musical chairs game for them.

One more selection error, if not made, could have strengthened Indian batting. It was the non-inclusion of specialist batsman Hooda in place of bits and pieces Axar Patel.

In a nut-shell, India lost the match because of its own selection errors.




Karun Nair- a brilliant cricketer who deserves better

By Sunil Sarpal

Karun Nair, only the second Indian batsman who scored a triple ton

India unearthed a batting talent approx.. three years ago, including him in the playing 11 to represent India in a test match against West Indies held in India. He scored a mammoth 300 runs in an innings. His name was Karun Kaladharan Nair.

Since then his name never figured in contention to represent India. This must be a case of dipping form. Hitting 300 runs in a match against West Indies in itself is an achievement beyond imagination and comparison with his contemporaries.

He is definitely an exceptional talent and should not be over-looked.

BCCI should nurture such talent so that he gets acclimatised to play in different conditions and evolves his batting.

There are other cricketers also with lot of talent but due to meagre resources cannot compete at higher level.

Luckily in India, BCCI is one of the richest cricket bodies in the world. It can nurture such extra-ordinary talent, providing stipend or free facilities.

County Cricket in England is one such platform where young and up-coming players can blossom if given a chance to play alongside International stars.

It is the duty of the new BCCI President Roger Binny to form a committee whose primary task should be to unearth such talent and provide all facilities free of charge for their exposure so that they become tomorrow’s stars.

What is your view in this matter. Please post your opinion in the comment box below.




Kohli’s Resurgence in Indian Cricket

By Sunil Sarpal

Image courtesy Insidesport.in

Virat Kohli leading India to victory against Pakistan in T20 world cup in Australia this October takes us back to the Asia Cup match played against Afghanistan just a little over a month ago when he broke a jinx and his resurgence began.

Indian Cricket is not spared from dirty politics and jealousies. In Kohli’s words, when he gave up captaincy, only one man showed concern and called upon him. That was MS Dhoni. Others also had his number, he complained, but were probably jealous of his record tumbling feat.

Kohli’s dipping form for over 3 years has been a cause of concern in cricket fraternity. Had he been in the Australian team, he would have been shown the exit door. But a better sense prevailed upon BCCI that he had been persisted with.

It took Kohli three years to score 71st International ton. During his dry period, Indian legend Kapil Dev talked in terms of writing him off and spoke in favour of better bench strength and in-form players.

Now, those critical of his inclusion in the side, will twist their statement, saying it was their way of motivating Virat so that he starts delivering yet again. That is why it is a well known fact that our society is riddled with hypocracy.

Now that Kohli has finally scored 71st ton, he shall be the most relieved man.

It is not imperative on part of past legends such as Kapil Dev and Gavaskar to make irresponsible statements. It’s unbecoming of their status. It is only their way to keep their name afloat and remain in the public eye. They do not want somebody else joining them in greatness. They are apparently ego-centric and biased.

Kohli, in an interview, said that till the time God wills, he will keep on playing. In fact, past legends outbursts do not bother him much. On the other hand, cricketers from abroad spoke highly of Kohli and wished him success.

Definitely, his blade will keep on accumulating runs till the time God so desires. God always stand by those who have a clean and unbiased heart, like Kohli.

Kohli and Dhoni Sportsmanship



India vs Pakistan – The October’22 Cliff Hanger in Australia

Virat Kohli – Snatching Victory from the Jaws of Defeat

India vs Pak match is always a cliff-hanger. The T20 match which was played on Sunday in Australia reminds us of the Sharjah match when Javed Miandad hit a six on the last ball off Chetan Sharma. In this match, Kohli stood his ground like a rock under trying circumstances and snatched the game from the jaws of defeat. This knock is being rated by the purists of the game, as the best ever played by him. He was cool as a cucumber when the match was headed down to the wire. Kohli’s innings teaches a few invaluable lessons too that one needs to build his innings brick-by-brick and not throw away his wicket in a jiffy.

When the going gets tough and the new ball bowlers are wrecking-havoc, patience and perseverance are the virtues which need to be applied. In doing so, one gets settled down and visibility of the ball becomes easy.

The early advantage did rest with India when they won the toss and rightly chose to bowl first on a wicket which assisted seamers. Both Bhuvi and Arshdeep bowled in the right areas, making the ball move both ways and presenting umpteen problems for Pak openers – Babbar and Rizwan. They were clueless against the quality attack. The early ‘impressive’ spell set the tone of the match and from the beginning itself Pakistan was under a lot of pressure, and in the process, lost both openers cheaply.

Pakistan’s batting never settled down till the time Iftikar hit four magnificent sixes to take the team to a respectable score of 159. Indian opening combination of KL Rahul and Rohit was patchy and tumbled early on, handing over the gauntlet to Kohli and Pandya to build the innings. Of the two, Kohli looked more fluid and played a gem of a knock. Some of Kohli’s sixes left Pakistan awe-struck. The game went down to the wire and the last ball chip by Ashwin sealed the deal for India.

The MCG ground was sold out like all India-Pak matches the world over



The Curious Case of Ravi Shastri

Many Avatars: As a commentator

Ravi Shastri’s career graph in Cricket and related fields is quite interesting and variable in nature. When he entered cricket arena, he was a left-handed leg spinner. Interestingly, he used to bat right-handed.

Ravi took his cricket very seriously and because of his learning curve, from No. 10 or 11, he was elevated to open the batting for India. Facing the new ball at an International level, by any stretch of imagination, is not a joke. It calls for a lot of grit and determination, which Ravi had in plenty. Transition from a left-arm slow bowler to a genuine all-rounder was in itself an achievement.

During his cricketing career, he won ‘man-of-the-series’ award in a triangular 50-over tournament between India Australia & New Zealand, winning an Audi car as prize money.

Once Shastri’s cricket career came to an end, he took to cricket commentary alongside the likes of Richie Benaud, Bill Lowery, Tony Gregg and Ian Chappel – all legends of the game. His comments were always commendable and commentary note-worthy. He possesses the right ‘oratory skills’ to speak precisely on air.

Later on, when BCCI wanted his services to be utilised as a Manager of Indian Team, he performed that responsibility to perfection. As a Manager, he displayed an exemplary equation with the then India captain MS Dhoni and later on with Virat Kohli to take Indian Cricket forward.

Again he was elevated to the position of Director of Team India. He coached Team India admirably for two successively tenures. He literally became the backbone of Team India and took the team to dizzy heights. He successfully introduced Yo Yo test as a compulsory yardstick without which entry into Indian side was not possible. Clearing the Yo Yo test enables a player to prove that he is fit enough to represent Team India.

Now, that Shastri is no more India Coach, and he has been replaced with Rahul Dravid, Ravi is back to his stint as a commentator.

The amount of exposure and experience that Shastri has secured, in different capacities, during his cricketing career, it is perhaps a good idea for BCCI to utilize his services for a more responsible assignment such as being the BCCI President.

Many Avatars: As a cricketer



In Cricket – Look before you take the leap

Kambli and Sachin childhood buddies

There is a thin line between success and failure. It is owing to the destiny that a person brings with him which makes him successful and unsuccessful. Let us take the case of Sachin and Kambli. Both together made a mammoth batting record during schooling. Sachin reached an iconic status, whereas, Kambli fell apart mid-way. Kambli could not do justice to his talent in life. He had to abandon his career mid-way because of his destiny.Does the formulae apply – as you sow, so shall you reap?

In fact Kambli recently requested BCCI to provide him with a good job so that he could feed his family. With a meagre pension of Rs. 30,000/- p.m. he could not manage his family expenses. BCCI took little notice to his request, whereas, a businessman from Maharashtra came forward to his rescue and offered him a job worth Rs. 1 lac p.m.

As past cricketers run one work or the other. Kapil Dev has a restaurant of how own in Chandigarh. Sachin does lot of advertisements. Ganguly belongs to a very rich family in Calcutta. Ravi Shastri did coaching for Indian Team and commentary as well. Gavaskar too is doing commentary and writes columns. Ramiz Raza’s commentary skills are spot on and is much more successful and in demand. John Right of New Zealand and Gary Kirsten of SA took to coaching Indian team.

The most important feature that everybody should bear in mind is that if you opt for cricket as a career then not being successful, is not an option and you stand nowhere. One has to take the choice very seriously. Actually, decisions taken during adolescence prove to be counter- productive. Money plays a pivotal role in life and provides the right impetus to pull on and sustain the life. Do you agree. Post your views in the comments box below. 




Is Cricket really a game of glorious uncertainties?

Can you recognise each of these iconic cricketers?

Cricket is a funny sport. Common belief is – it is a game of glorious uncertainties. If it is so then how come Sachin scored 100 International tons? He must have reached the pinnacle so as to deal with any bowler and topple him.

People always talk of Sachin because of his enormous achievements. They do not talk of Kambli who was more gifted but unlucky not to have ticked the right boxes. Poor chap could not linger his career. People do not talk of Martin Crow, who was perhaps the best, but abandoned his career because of cancer. People talk of Viv Richards who blossomed because of army of fast bowlers and batsmen in his support and an astute leader in Clive Lloyd.

But the lone warrior from India in 70s was none other than Sunil Gavaskar. He single-handedly dealt with enormous challenges all over the world. Virat Kohli was once hailed as Sachin’s successor. Sachin scored 100 International tons in all formats of the game as against 70 by Virat. Nobody has the right to question Virat’s talent and inconsistency. He has already established himself as a talent beyond imagination. At 33, he can still reinvent his batting. Dry period happened even in Sachin’s career but a phone call from Sir Viv Richards enthused a self-belief in him when Sachin was considering retirement from the game. Virat too needs motivational counselling and not criticism. It is Virat and only Virat who will salvage his position in the side.

Brian Lara, another legend of the game, opinionated that do not write off Virat. He will come back with much better player. There have been instances when players just fade away and come back becomes next to impossible. Because failure for a longer period of time leaves the person hapless and shaken. Lot of debate and criticism dent the self- belief. Media these days write stories which are ‘reader savvy’ without considering its ill-effects. He needs support from all quarters so that his blade shines once again.

Cricket has become a ‘junoon’ among the enthusiasts. Every now and then some class act appears from no-where and the show goes on and on.




About Amrita Pritam / Kanika Aurora

If you truly wish

To write the story of your life

All you must do

Is to bleed

On the blank pages…

These are the words of Amrita Kaur; born a hundred and two years ago, sparkling with uncommon fire in Gujranwala, Pakistan who afforded us a glimpse of her promise shortly after her mother had passed away despite her furious and fervent prayers to the Almighty. Questioning her grandmother about the perplexing tradition at home of keeping her father’s Muslim friends’ utensils in a segregated corner in the kitchen, an activist at eleven, refusing to drink in any other glass until all glasses belonged to one religion. Her first ‘baghavat(rebellion)’, as she called it.

Constantly unafraid, she wrote with much fervour and managed to churn out her first collection of poems published in 1936, at the age of sixteen entitled ‘ Amrit Lehrein (Immortal Waves)’.Getting married off soon after to Pritam Singh did not rob her of her resolve or gift and write she did; finding solace in her inner world and words as Amrita Pritam.

Her first distinguishable progressive streak in writing became rather apparent when she wrote of the anguish and the socio-economic concerns of the hour in ‘Lok Peed’ (People’s pain), in 1944. Here, she criticized the state of the economy after the Second World War and the terrible agony suffered by all during the Bengal famine in 1943. It was however in 1948, post the Indian Partition in 1947 and its innumerable and unspeakable horrors, that Amrita wrote her now iconic poem ‘Ajj aakhan Waris Shah nu’ ( Today, I invoke Waris Shah)which made her a household name in India and Pakistan alike.

Ajj Akkhan Waris Shah nu/ Today I invoke Waris Shah

Speak from the depths of the grave

To Waris Shah I say

And add a new page to your saga of love

Today.

Once wept a daughter of Punjab

Your pen unleashed a million cries

A million daughters weep today

To you Waris Shah

They turn their eyes.

Awake, decry your Punjab

O sufferer with those suffering!

Corpses entomb the fields today.

The Chenab is flowing with blood,

Mingled with poison by some

And the waters of five rivers

And this torrent of pollution

Unceasingly covers our earth.

And heavy with venom were the winds,

That blew through forests

Transmuting into a snake

The reed of each musical branch

With sting after sting did the serpents

Suppress the voice of people….

Where can we seek another like Waris Shah today?

Only you can speak from the grave

To Waris Shah I say

Add another page to your epic of love today. (Translated by Amrita Pritam)

In 1950, her novella Pinjar(Skeleton); arguably one of the finest and foremost depiction of the Partition from a woman’s perspective was published and gained much acclaim. It was adapted and made into a Hindustani movie in 2002 produced in Bollywood(Mumbai). In this story, Amrita wrote passionately about the plight of scores of Hindu, Muslim and Sikh ‘nowhere women’ who were abducted, raped or killed as well as those who somehow managed to return but were never accepted back into their families for being ’tainted’. It was a strong comment on the hypocrisy of the societal norms of the day and fiercely feminist and critical in tenor and managed to make quite an impact on the conservative collective consciousness at the time. Some of her later work, notably ‘Kaal Chetna’(Consciousness of Time), Aksharon ke saaye(The shadow of words)  and Kaala Gulab(Black Rose) all had a serious rebellious flavour.

The trauma of partition and the shackles of patriarchal society which relegated Punjabi women to the kitchen, behind the veil forever lamenting their unspeakable grief in hushed tones to each other or in innumerable pathos laden Sufi folk songs; Amrita Pritam emerged as a fearless voice from amongst them and made a name for herself despite being criticized, condemned and even threatened braving the odds.

Speaking of socially relevant purposeful literature and the Progressive Writers Movement (from1930s till after Independence) which sought to inspire people through the written word championing the cause of equality and condemning social injustice; one tends to recall Munshi Premchand, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Kaifi Azmi, Sajjad Zaheer , Majaz, Manto, Ismat Chugtai, Krishan Chander and Bhishm Sahni to name a few; Amrita Pritam  who initially indulged in romantic poetry had joined the movement and went on to create and express her own brand of revolutionary ideas in an original voice strongly and soldiering on.

Post Partition, she began working at the Punjabi service of All India Radio in Delhi, where she had moved from Lahore and continued serving there till 1961.  

 Mera Pata/My Address

 Today I erased the number from my house

and got rid of the street name from the top of the road

Wiped off the names from all the street posts

But if you are really keen on finding me

Then go knock on the door of each house

Of every street, of every town in every country

This is a curse

This is a blessing

For wherever you come across a liberated soul

Think of it as my home

As an alternative view of history luminously shines through her poems and stories that cut deep, laying bare raw grief and palpable despair which find little solace but for her words; her refuge; her “Akkhar’(Words). 

 In her personal life, love came to her outside her marriage in the form of Sahir Ludhianvi, the celebrated poet who became her muse of sorts and fiercest lifelong attachment… She was enamoured by his charm and did not keep her feelings under wraps and wrote him ‘Sunehey’(Messages) which won her the Sahitya Academy award in 1957. Interestingly, at the time her intense involvement with him which she describes in great detail in her autobiography “Raseedi Ticket(Revenue Stamp) recounts moments of prolonged silence between them with him smoking cigarettes and her saving the stubs and reigniting them in private. Another famous anecdote has her recalling a time when she was being photographed by a press reporter posing with a pen and paper on her table; she would scribble his name “Sahir”, filling up the age in a trance like state. That she would get turned on by languidly applying Vicks on his throat when he was a little under the weather and describe it in minute detail was considered extremely sensuous and not at all appropriate at the time. Her first meeting with him has been recorded for posterity in “Aakhri Khat” (The last Letter) and his dalliance with Sudha Malhotra, a singer in Mumbai resulted in Amrita suffering a clinical emotional breakdown. Her poems obviously took on a different hue speaking volumes of her unfulfilled longings, all rather semi erotic in nature and completely frowned upon in public yet devoured with relish in private fomenting some of the most original, paradigm shifting poetry of its time…

You do not come

Spring awakens and stretches its arms

Flowers weave their silk threads

For the festival of colour

You do not come.

Afternoons grow long

Red has touched the grapes

Sickles are kissing their wheat

You do not come.

Clouds  gather

Earth opens its hands to drink

The bounty of the sky

Yet, you do not come…she laments.

Her desire for him is almost tangible and she openly professes to the poems being dedicated to him and admitting that her marriage was a loveless burden which she finally freed herself of in 1960.

Sahir and Amrita

In an interview to Carl Copolla she articulates, “The bonds and conventions of society are certainly reflected in my poetry, negatively, of course.  But I think every intelligent person has to suffer…Suffering is the price the intelligent person has to pay.  As for women, I feel that women in literature are different from women in other fields…Basically; there is a prejudice against women in literature.  Men take women’s writing lightly; they doubt a women’s sincerity.  For example, when I got this Sahitya Akademi Award, and with it fame, the leading English daily in Delhi wrote that I got my popularity in Punjabi literature because of my youth and beauty.  I felt very sorry to read that.  Why not talent?  They can admire a beautiful woman, but not a talented one.”

In spite of innumerable constraints, she continued writing in her native tongue and started the publication of a Punjabi literary journal, ‘Naagmani’ (Serpent’s jewel) in 1964.

Translating poems of Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Frost n Punjabi as well as highlighting the work of emerging Punjabi poets and women writers; she worked relentlessly to create a healthy, aesthetic platform showcasing marginalized thought and voice.

It was an uphill task but she had a companion and a lover extraordinaire called Imroz who spent the last 45 years of her life dedicating his own to her cause.

Imroz allowed her to be.

Living with Imroz in an unconventional, uninhibited way, without formally marrying him at the time was again Amrita’s way of following her inner truth and at the time considered a remarkable revolutionary life choice. 

In another instance, when she insisted, he roam around the world before taking any final decisions about them; he apparently got up and circumambulated around her seven times and said; “That’s done”.

Amrita and Imroz

“Father, Brother, Friend and Husband…the labels mean nothing.

When I set my eyes upon you, all these words became meaningful at once…she said of Imroz.

That was our tryst, yours and mine

We slept on a bed of stones

And our eyes, lips and fingertips,

Became the world of our bodies; yours and mine

They then made translations of this first book

The Rig Veda was compiled much later.

(An excerpt from her poem ‘Kufr’ )

Her book ‘Aurat(Woman)’deserves a special mention which carries interviews of scores of women activists and writers , translations of feminist writings from other languages and her own essays on issues such as prostitution, bride burning, women’s rights and the quest for liberation.

Her strength lay in her knowledge that her vision was shared by many others in other times and places.

She would often implore all who vociferously criticized her to give her a fair chance.

“I wish to ask all those who condemn me and my writings, do you wish to allow the fire of Punjabi writing to spread light all over or do you forcibly wish to bury it, silence it forever?

In her self- portrait poem, ‘Amrita Pritam’, she attempts to mirror her innermost core in very sparse, simple words.

“There was a pain

I inhaled it silently

Like a cigarette

There are a few songs

I have flicked off

Like ashes from the cigarette…

In a career that spanned over six decades, Amrita Pritam penned over a hundred works including poetry, essays, stories novels and biographies. Her works have been translated into several Indian and foreign languages.

Apart from the Sahitya Academy award for Sunehede in 1956, one of the highest awards for literature, Bhartiya Jnanpith Award was conferred upon her in 1982 for Kagaj Te Canvas (Paper and Canvas).

She also received the Padma Vibushan, India’s second highest Civilian Award in 2004.

“An award is not the ultimate goal for any writer. The only goal is to reach people, touch their souls. If an award aids that process, then it actually means something, becomes important.”; she said.

But apart from her very passion laden emotional poems, her influences were of multiple nature which lead her to produce an alternative, exceedingly intelligent, often explosive, unique, inspirational body of work.

So she wrote on as a progressive-romantic writer who promises her lover that she shall return to him and live on.

Her most quoted poem which is also a promise to Imroz reads

Maiyn tenu phir milangi (I shall meet you again)

I shall meet you yet again

Where and how

I know not

Perhaps I shall become a

figment of your imagination

or maybe splaying myself

as a mysterious line

on your canvas

I shall keep gazing at you.

Perhaps I shall become a ray

of sunshine and

dissolve in your colours

or embraced by your colours

I will paint myself on your canvas

How and where

I do not know –

But I shall meet you for sure.

It’s possible that I shall transform into a spring

and rub foaming

droplets of water on your body

and like a tender coolness I shall

rub your chest

I do not know enough

But that whatever time might do

this birth shall run along with me.

When the body perishes

All perishes

but the strings of memory

are woven with cosmic atoms

I will pick these particles

Re-weave the strings

and I shall meet you yet again.

And live on she shall, for all those who are concerned with the truth of life.

Constantly challenging the status quo, her legacy is her philosophy which still inspires;

“My life shall be my answer.”

(All translations are done by the author unless mentioned otherwise).