A glimpse over Amrita Pritam’s “मेरी प्रिय कहानियाँ” (Meri Priya Kahaniyan); women, her body and integrity

A glimpse over Amrita Pritam’s “मेरी प्रिय कहानियाँ” (Meri Priya Kahaniyan); women, her body and integrity

Amrita Pritam is considered the first prominent female Punjabi poet, novelist, essayist and the leading 20th-century poet of the Punjabi language.

(Wikipedia, 17 May 2021)

Three stories that will spread out its wings on this page are जंगली बूटी (Junglee Buti), छमक छल्लो (Chamak Challo) and अमाकड़ी (Amakadi).

The title “मेरी प्रिय कहानियाँ” (Meri Priya Kahaniyan) contains a collection of stories, of which three stories are here to be talked about.

The women Pritam potrays in her stories जंगली बूटी (Junglee Buti), छमक छल्लो (Chamak Challo) and अमाकड़ी (Amakadi) are young, compromised by the uncertainty of life and are unaware of their own man-desired-bodies.

जंगली बूटी (Junglee Buti) the story has Angoori as a poignant piece of young lass married to a man with no choices in her part. She is a woman understanding very less about love but bound to understand much about sex through her marriage. A woman whose body does not correlate to her heart and her heart does not correlate to her mind. The three bifurcated in her are longing to be in a relationship she never had the choice.
The imagery used in the stories describing a woman’s body with edible items is exceptional and the picturesque created through it is worth reading.

छमक छल्लो (Chamak Challo), the story itself is named after the female protagonist Chamak Challo. A sense of pathos, victimization, a budding desire of love and an ironical incident all emulsified in the characters of Pritam’s writings makes the story women-centric and women-fortified.
It is the body of the woman than the woman herself which takes Pritam’s stories to an epitome of belief. A desperate love, a deprived sex, an aged body or a body mysteriously hers but still not owned by her makes the stories heart wrenching.

The desire turns surreal and beyond bodily gratification only when the bodily senses is lost to an unwanted relationship or to just fate.

The female protagonist grow from young to old or rather evolve from a loveless young body to a loveless old body.

The zing of pessimism and helplessness found in her stories is the key to the bifurcated identity the ladies caricature.

अमाकड़ी (Amakadi) the story is named after the female protagonist Amakadi. This story is not just about a woman, her body and integrity rather one could find this story parallels with the male protagonist Kishore, his desire to love a woman’s body and integrity.
The disintegration that subconsciously takes place when love overrules body and mind in the male protagonist can be exceptionally complemented by the frustration and venomous perception Amakhadi impregnates herself with when love overrules her body and mind.
The silence the man nurtures within volumizes, as the desperate longing to love her love’s body evaporates.
The helplessness that Kishore portrays is beyond physicality and beyond being a man. A stronger sense of vulnerability urges to break free from the identity of a man Kishore depicts in the story.
Regrets and remorse play its game irrespective of the gender, the status and the body that the characters are.

The stories are woven with intricate expressions and crafted with splendid waves of emotions.

Works cited

Pritam, Amrita. “मेरी प्रिय कहानियाँ” (Meri Priya Kahaniyan). Audible Studios. 13 September 2019. Audiobook.

Wikipedia contributors. “Amrita Pritam.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 8 May. 2021. Web. 17 May. 2021.

Ansulika Paul

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Ansulika Paul

Ansulika Paul

Ansulika Paul is a poet, author, researcher and filmmaker. She is a filmmaker by heart and a film critic by words.

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