Seems like Pakistan might steal a march on Bollywood, when it comes to making a film on the real-life love story of Amrita Pritam, Indo-Pak subcontinent’s foremost Punjabi/Hindi woman novelist and poet, and Sahir Ludhianvi, the celebrated Urdu poet and lyricist of the 20th century. Director Shehzad Rafique has expressed a strong desire to make the biopic. Sharing his thoughts in an extended Facebook post, on the 100th birth anniversary of Pritam recently, Rafique said that a film on “the intriguing love story of Amirta Pritam and Sahir Ludhanvi” was “my dream” which he hoped to realise by the year 2021. He even announced its title: Tumhari Amrita.
“I take pride in the fact that she belonged to my native city, Gujranwala,” Rafique wrote. “The area in which I live is known as ‘Gobindh Garh’ and she lived in an area adjacent to it known as ‘Guru Nanak Pura.’ There is only one road’s distance b/w both areas.”
Rafique also recalled that when he went to Mumbai for the post-production of his 2007 feature, Mohabbatan Sachiyan, he stayed at Ramesh Mahal Apartments, in Juhu, which was close to a building, called “Parchhaiyan,” that Ludhianvi owned. “I used to sit beside the window of my apartment and look towards Sahir’s bedroom in Parchhaiyan building,” he wrote. “My romance with poetry started with Sahir’s book ‘Talkhiyan’ and there is an emotional attachment with Sahir and Amrita.”
He went on to mention “another significant person in their love story, Amroz. […] people like him are not present in real life. What a lovely person and a great man.”
Rafique ended on the wish that he is able to see his dream of making the film come true.
For the uninitiated, a motion picture on the subject has long been announced by Bollywood filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali, but there’s no development on that front. Interestingly, a theatre group in India performed an epistolary play, which was titled ‘Tumhari Amrita’, and featured Shabana Azmi and the late Farooq Sheikh. Though, it had nothing to do with Ludhianvi and Pritam’s love story. Shehzad Rafique seems to have borrowed the title only.