Amrita Pritam was married at a young age. Married to a cloth merchant in Lahore, her marriage was a loveless one and she moved with her family to Delhi after partition.
Once in Delhi, Amrita began working with AIR on a radio programme of Punjabi poetry. She however soon fell head over heels in love with the famous poet / lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi. Theirs became a much talked about love story. Sahir and Amrita were truly in love. However the objection to an eventual culmination of this relationship came from Sahir’s mother. Amrita after all was previously married and had two young children. Sahir left her, but love never left Amrita. She continued to pine for Sahir hoping that one day he’d change his mind.
Meanwhile, at ten years younger to her, Imroze was besotted. Not just by her beauty, but her poetry as well. As he watched her walk to AIR from his terrace, he decided he would offer her a ride to AIR on his motorbike. Soon he also took the task of dropping her children to school. Once, after being booked for triple riding, he changed his scooter for a car. But his love for Amrita would never change.
Imroze’s love for Amrita was perhaps one of the most endearing and heart touching examples of true love sans any condition. There were no promises, no questions asked or answers expected. It was a love that blossomed in its purest form since there was no expectation of an emotional reciprocation. This was unconditional love at its deepest.
Amrita eventually moved in with Imroze. And gradually began to understand the depth and true nature of his love for her. Amongst her poems many were dedicated to him. In one poem she wrote that maybe she spent fourteen years of her life (with Sahir) only to wait for her one true love (Imroze)
Amrita and Imroze never married or formalised their relationship in any other way. They stayed together, lived together, loved together and were with each other in a very special way. Amrita was always conscious of the age difference between a Imroze and her. She once asked him to travel the whole word and see it and experience it before talking of love. Imroze merely walked around her seven times and told her he’d seen what he needed to. No one could ever love Amrita the way he did.
As their years together drew to its inevitable end, Amrita acknowledged his love and his presence in her life with one of her most beautiful poems Main Tenu Phir Milan Gi (I Will Meet You Once Again) where she talks of an eternal cosmic plane where the two of them would unite forever.
Today at a ripe old age of 93 Imroze still lives in the same house where spent time with Amrita. He brought her two children up and saw them settle down in their own lives. The day Amrita passed on was the day he wrapped up his canvas and brushes and never painted again. That chapter of his life was closed forever. However like Amrita mentioned in her final poem, he believes he’s still with her at some cosmic level. Till date she is mentioned by him in the present sense.
Maybe Amrita had a premonition about this as she wrote the following lines as her deepest expression and acknowledgment of his love for her and her reciprocation:
Kaise Iska Karz Chukaaye
Maang Ke Apni Maut Ke Haathon
Umr Ki suli si hai humne
Baat qufr Ki kee hai humne
A love like Imroze’s cannot be found in any age. A personality like Amrita is a rarity. Their story is one of unconditional love, which is a blessing not chanced by everyone.