She may be best remembered for her contribution to Punjabi literature and poetry, but the focus of a new play on Amrita Pritam’s life will be on her relationships. Main Tenu Phir Milangi, which will premiere in the city today, takes a closer look at the life of the author, and her unusual relationships with the men in her life – lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi and Imroz.
Says director Abhinay Banker, who will also perform the role of Imroz, “The play is based not only on Amrita’s autobiography, but also on her life, and the anecdotes which we heard from Imroz. Reading about her relationships was very intriguing.”
Banker reveals that it was difficult to deal with a non-fictional character. “She may be no more, but there are people who have seen her and spoken to her. The presentation may change a bit, but the facts have to remain the same,” he explains.
The story starts with Amrita’s birth, depicting the important twists and turns in her life, till she turns 16 and meets Sahir, despite being married to another man. But the major portion of the play focuses on the characters of Amrita and Imroz, and their unspoken but strong relationship. “Ironically, they met because of Sahir, whom she had been involved with earlier,” reveals Banker. “Amrita wrote a series of letters to Sahir, which were eventually published as a book. Imroz was called upon to design the cover of the book, and that is how they met.”
They lived together for 45 years after that, but they never expressed their love for each other and didn’t get married. Amrita and Imroz both knew that they were breaking boundaries and would never be accepted in society as a couple. For Banker, this is what made it a different and divine love story, thereby prompting him to write the play.
Main Tenu Phir Milangi will be staged at 7 pm at NCPA Experimental Theatre.