Google Saturday honoured one of history’s most prominent women Punjabi writers Amrita Pritam on her 100th birth anniversary. The Google Doodle is a reference to Pritam’s autobiography Kala Gulab (Black Rose) which was an insight into her personal life. The book was considered an inspiration for other women to speak out about their experiences with love and marriage.
Born on August 31, 1919, in Gujranwala, Punjab of British India, which now fall in Pakistan, Pritam was considered a pathbreaking woman who rose to fame with her literary works like “Ajj Aakhaan Waris Shah Nu,” her poem lamenting the traumatic Partition of 1947.
Known for her bold expressions, Pritam published her first collection of verses at the age of 16. She went on to publish 28 novels including Pinjar, a dramatic tale set during the time of Partition which was adapted into a movie.
Even though Pritam lived in Pakistan, she continued to write not only in Punjabi but in Hindi and Urdu as well during her six-decade career as her work was admired on both sides of the border. She was awarded one of India’s highest civilian awards, the Padma Vibushan in 2005.
She also won other prestigious awards including the Bharatiya Jnanpith literary award in 1981 and the La Route des Indes Literary Prize the same year.
Apart from writing, Pritam worked at the All India Radio and edited the literary journal Nagmani. In 1986, she was nominated to Rajya Sabha.