Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Imroz’s Departure Marks the End of a Literary Love Saga

by Dr. Jasneet Bedi

Today marks the poignant conclusion of the enduring love story that captivated hearts for decades. Imroz, the artist whose life intertwined with the legendary poetess Amrita Pritam, peacefully departed at the age of 97 in his Mumbai residence, succumbing to the inevitable grasp of age-related issues.

Born as Inderjeet on January 26, 1926, in Chak number 36 in Lyallpur of undivided Punjab, Imroz’s journey as an artist unfolded against the backdrop of a changing world. The 1950s brought a fateful encounter with Amrita Pritam, already an established poetess in Punjabi literature. The union of their creative spirits marked the genesis of a partnership that endured for over four decades.

In 1966, Imroz took a pivotal step, joining Amrita in the publication of ‘Naagmani,’ a magazine that became a canvas for their shared artistic endeavors. Adopting the name Imroz, he not only contributed as an artist-illustrator but became an integral part of the literary landscape they were crafting together.

Their love story, a testament to companionship and artistic collaboration, spanned over 40 years until Amrita’s passing on October 31, 2005. Amrita’s last poetic creation, ‘Main tainu pher milangi’ (I will meet you again) in 2004, echoed her steadfast belief in a reunion with Imroz beyond the realms of mortality.

Imroz, despite the loss of his beloved, found solace in expressing his emotions through poetry. His poetic journey unfolded into the creation of four books, including ‘Jashan Jaari Hai,’ ‘Manchaaha Hi Rishta,’ and ‘Rang Tere Mere.’ Each verse a poignant tribute to a love that transcended the boundaries of time and mortality.

Remaining steadfast to his commitment to love, Imroz, who never married, found a familial haven with Alka, Amrita’s daughter-in-law and the widow of the late Navraj. Their shared grief and love became the foundation for a unique bond that brought warmth to the later years of Imroz’s life.

In 2022, the remarkable love story of Amrita and Imroz found its place on the silver screen in the film ‘Imroz: A Walk Down the Memory Lane,’ immortalizing their journey for generations to come.

As we bid farewell to Imroz, we reflect not only on the passing of a remarkable individual but on the indomitable spirit of a love that defied time and circumstance. Imroz may have departed, but the echoes of his love story with Amrita will resonate in the corridors of art and literature, inspiring generations to come.

Dr. Jasneet Bedi

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