AMRITA PRITAM'S LOVE STORIES AND SEXUAL POLITICS WOULD DRIVE YOU CRAZY!'s image
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AMRITA PRITAM'S LOVE STORIES AND SEXUAL POLITICS WOULD DRIVE YOU CRAZY!

Kavishala brings for you a twist in today's content with some extra toppings over the cake and moreover a memory of Amrita Pritam who touched the souls of one's body and translated it into the essence of her writings.

That was our tryst, yours and mine.

We slept on a bed of stones,

and our eyes, lips, and fingertips,

became the words of your body and mine,


– Amrita Pritam, “First Book”

AmritaPritam (1)

Often thinking from a minority perspective as an American, it’s a tough task to jest beyond and be creative with intellectual predecessors who are writing from vast cultures and ethics of origin of Anglophone literary marketplace. For South Asian women writers, in the literary arts, who are looking to challenge the patriarchal hegemony of Anglo-American literature, Amrita Pritam is a well-known writer.


During the 1940s, she came to her prominence as a political and feminist writer in India, working in Punjabi literature, then in Hindi and Urdu translation, and finally switched internationally. By 1950 like Simone de Beauvoir and Betty Friedan in the West, Pritam was challenging patriarchal values at home, redefining gender roles and narratives assigned to women, and openly challenging heteronormative sexual politics. For the time being, she ushered an innovative wave of feminist literature in mid-century India.

Even she faced criticism for her work from her male counterparts within Punjab, Hindi, Urdu, and South Asian publishing industries at large.


Let's read aloud her loving heart-touchy string of words from Night -


Night

half here,

half there,

In the gaslight, I don’t know

under which rooftop

you must be waiting—

with each and every gulp,

with each and every bill, 

with each and every beautiful face,

You—yes, you! You—

oh, the father of

my unborn child!

Night—

half here,

half there,

and I’m sitting by the flame

of an earthen lamp, under the rooftop

of your forbears,

I am waiting for your faltering

steps, the collar of your shirt:

so ugly, so dirty, and wet

with the stain of alcohol,

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