Sunday, May 21, 2006


When I moved into your bed
I was not alone — there were two of us
A married woman and a virgin
To sleep with you.
I had to for the virgin in me
I did so
This slaughter is permissible in law
Not the indignity of it
And I bore the onslaught of insult.

(These are the excerpt of a poem Kumari (Virgin) in Amrita Pritam’s Jnanpith Award-winning Kaghaz Te Canvas ).
Amrita pritam, the most known Indian writer had left her husband in 1960 for her lover Imroz, an artist and writer. For more than four decades, they were inseparable and supremely happy, and he designed most of her book jackets. He survives her, as do a daughter and a son from her marriage. During this time she had also love affairs with Punjabi Muslim poets - the well-known Sahir Ludhianvi and remained with Imroz and Sahir without any confrontation. A young Amrita Pritam, madly in love with Sahir, wrote his name hundreds of times on a sheet of paper while addressing a press conference. A bachelor to the end, Sahir fell in love with writer Amrita Pritam and singer Sudha Malhotra, relationships that never fructified in the conventional sense.
More about Amrita’s writing can be read on

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Frida Kahlo, the most remarkable Mexican painter, endured at least 35 surgical interventions and was encased in 28 such corsets through out her life , wrote in her Diary :

"... from the invisible inside, where I could neither see nor want the very thing that I have always been scared to have revealed on the scanner, by analysis - radiology, echography, endocrinology, hematology - a crural vein expelled my blood outside that I thought beautiful once stored in that bottle under a label that I doubted could avoid confusion or misappropriation of the vintage, leaving me nothing more to do, the inside of my life exhibiting itself outside, expressing itself before my eyes, absolved without a gesture, dare I say of writing if I compare the pen to a syringe, and I always dream of a pen that would be a syringe, a suction point rather than that very hard weapon with which one must inscribe, incise, choose, calculate, take ink before filtering the inscribable, playing the keyboard on the screen, whereas here, once the vein has been found, no more toil, no responsibility, no risk of bad taste or violence, the blood delivers itself all alone, the inside gives itself up and you can do as you like with it, it's me but I'm no longer there, for nothing, for nobody, diagnose the worst..."

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


If I could give up my life with Sartre I would be a dirty creature a treacherous and selfish woman... it is not by lack of love that I don't stay with you...Sartre needs me. In fact, he is very lonely, very tormented inside himself and I am his only true friend, I could not desert is not possible to love more than I love you, flesh and heart and soul. But Sartre needs me.
(Simone de Beauvoir wrote to her lover Nelson Algren on Mon 19 July '48)

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