Teri Amrita - A Tale of Unrequited Love

December 25, 2012
Divya Dutta reading letters as Amrita


बड़े नामुराद होते हैं वो शख्स 
जिनकी मुहब्बत को चाहत का किनारा न मिला;  
जैसे दफनाया गया हो 
कोई लावारिस स,  बेशिनाख्त 
और  मज़ार तक तो अपनों का सहारा न मिला 

(Roughly, An individual whose love remains unrequited is as unlucky as a person whose dead body is buried as an unidentified person, even when he is surrounded by people who know him)

I could never imagine that the now extinct form of communication - letter writing - could actually be presented as an art form, till I got the opportunity to be audience of the dramatized letter reading of  "Teri Amrita" at The Shri Ram Centre for Art and Culture at New Delhi the last weekend. 

Originally "Love Letters" written by AG Gurney, which understandably brought out the 'Tumhari Amrita" by Javed Siddiqui  enacted by Shabana Azmi and Farooq Shiekh and now adapted in Punjabi by Amrik Gill and presented by (and directed by) Om Puri and Divya Dutta as "Teri Amrita" ( Amrita pronounced as Amarta!)

The letters, read by the two actors,  unfold the tale of two lovers covering a period of forty years across the spread of continents and barriers of man made boundaries. The readings unveiled the story of two souls too entwined to let go of each other and yet separated physically from each other, I would say due to their choices.  Yet the fabric of their love is woven by the innumerable letters they exchange narrating the meanders of their lives. 

The roles played passionately by Om Puri as Zulfi and Divya Dutta as Amrita brings alive the pain of being in love and yet remaining separated all their lives.  But the reason for staying away is the choice and not destiny really.  Zulfi is a conservative guy, folllows whatever his parents say and rises high in his career path of education and bureaucratic position and then a Minister.  Amrita is a free soul, a rebel and lives her life through the choicesof her heart.  She is lucky for that matter to be recognized as amongst the finest painters of the country and holds exhibitions the world over.

Although, this contrast of portrayal of her character as a free spirit and her extraordinary professional success surprised me a bit.  A free wandering soul has expression but generally needs a mentor and guide to move her up the ladder of professional success.  Sometimes being a pure artist devoid of the keenness to be a winner can be self destructing - well that is what she does at the end... self destruction.

She lives and dies for love.  She commits suicide for the welfare of her love Zulfi, who gave her nothing but pain, loneliness and more pain as he moved ahead relentlessly on his path of professional, social and personal success in society, holding the position of a Minister, marrying a girl for the benefit of his career and rearing a family as any other married man.  He shares all this with Amrita through his letters, even when he is aware of his love for her, even when she asks him to marry her.  He chooses career and position over love.

The question that struck me as I got up from my seat to give a standing ovation and applause to the heart wrenching performance of the two actors, was that is it worthwhile to love and not to be loved back ever by that person?  Is one sided love actually love, or is it an obsession of the thing which has been denied to us?  Is the expectation to be loved back in a relationship too much?  Or is it not love where you expect the other person to love you back?

I was reading some thought about love by Osho.  It said something like if you are looking for love in return of love, then you really are wasting your time, as it is not love.  But how long can you keep on loving a person without reciprocation?  And if you do, is that natural or its your dependence to be in love and pain which making you stick to your object of desire? I really don't know. What do you think dear reader?



RESTLESS

PS: I thank my friends and blogger pals to prod me to write something in the blog, after a long time! Another thanks to the friend who arranged the pass for this play, as it was really difficult to get it.



22 comments:

Bhavin Sangoi said...

Hi!!! After a long time we both returned to blogosphere. You were away from your blog since more than one year, similar was my situation. I also couldn't write anything since last one year because of my busy schedule. Recently because of some free time and disturbing issue of Delhi rape I got back to my blog. Welcome again.

Bhavin Sangoi said...

My thoughts on reciprocation in love- we all love different people and expect them to respond in similar way. One sided love is really painful, whether it is a love of a girl for a boy or it is parent's love for their child. I have read this thoughts of Osho that one should love someone without expecting reciprocation. It sounds good but I am not really convinced about it. I think no one can love somebody on the very first instance without thinking about reciprocation. I may be wrong but my personal experience says that initially we all love someone or somebody with some expectation(not necessarily selfish). However as time passes and bond of love becomes stronger, expectations get reduced and selfless love increases. selfless love or love without expectation as Osho sates may be a climax, but certainly can't be the beginning. Therefor if you insist that I will only indulge in selfless love till than I will not waste my time in love which requires reciprocation, then perhaps you will never find that selfless love because that initial love accompanied by expectation is the seed of expectation less, selfless love.

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Hi Bhavin! Its gud to see that Restless is not forgotten! Thank u so much and i too welcome u bak to the blogosphere! Yes life had been very busy but something did make me write again. I hv always valued your balanced opinions on various issues u hv written about. Tks again.

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Hi Bhavin! Its gud to see that Restless is not forgotten! Thank u so much and i too welcome u bak to the blogosphere! Yes life had been very busy but something did make me write again. I hv always valued your balanced opinions on various issues u hv written about. Tks again.

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

I appreciate your views and more than that the clarity of thoughts. I must say that u demystified reciprocation in love at different stages. True that initially some reciprocation is needed....later your interests merge with the interests of your love. But what i asked was that is it possible to keep loving a person who doesnot reciprocate your feelings and does not really put in any effort in the relationship? Is it really love or obsession when you love a person who cannot love you back?

Would like to hear bak...

Ajesh Banerjee said...

Hi Restless, long time! Like the way you have depicted your emotions in this post. It is really ok to love someone even if he/she doesn't feel anything about you. That's not obsession. Expectation is natural, we are mortal humans limited with a lot of our daily needs... but true love is beyond something we cannot logically decipher. You have to feel love, and then it will set you free.

PS: I don't know whether you remember me, but long time back you commented on my blog and mailed me on Indiblogger. :) I didn't blog for about 6 months, I guess I needed the break... but here I am! :)

Regards,

Ajesh

RESTLESS said...

Bhavin Sangoi said


Hi!!! After a long time we both returned to blogosphere. You were away from your blog since more than one year, similar was my situation. I also couldn't write anything since last one year because of my busy schedule. Recently because of some free time and disturbing issue of Delhi rape I got back to my blog. Welcome again. said:

RESTLESS said...

Hi Bhavin! Its gud to see that Restless is not forgotten! Thank u so much and i too welcome u back to the blogosphere! Yes life had been very busy but something did make me write again. I hv always valued your balanced opinions on various issues u hv written about. Tks again

RESTLESS said...

Bhavin Sangoi said


:My thoughts on reciprocation in love- we all love different people and expect them to respond in similar way. One sided love is really painful, whether it is a love of a girl for a boy or it is parent's love for their child. I have read this thoughts of Osho that one should love someone without expecting reciprocation. It sounds good but I am not really convinced about it. I think no one can love somebody on the very first instance without thinking about reciprocation. I may be wrong but my personal experience says that initially we all love someone or somebody with some expectation(not necessarily selfish). However as time passes and bond of love becomes stronger, expectations get reduced and selfless love increases. selfless love or love without expectation as Osho sates may be a climax, but certainly can't be the beginning. Therefor if you insist that I will only indulge in selfless love till than I will not waste my time in love which requires reciprocation, then perhaps you will o

RESTLESS said...

I appreciate your views and more than that the clarity of thoughts. I must say that u demystified reciprocation in love at different stages. True that initially some reciprocation is needed....later your interests merge with the interests of your love. But what i asked was that is it possible to keep loving a person who doesnot reciprocate your feelings and does not really put in any effort in the relationship? Is it really love or obsession when you love a person who cannot love you back? Would like to hear bak..

RESTLESS said...

Ajesh Bannerjee said


:Hi Restless, long time! Like the way you have depicted your emotions in this post. It is really ok to love someone even if he/she doesn't feel anything about you. That's not obsession. Expectation is natural, we are mortal humans limited with a lot of our daily needs... but true love is beyond something we cannot logically decipher. You have to feel love, and then it will set you free. PS: I don't know whether you remember me, but long time back you commented on my blog and mailed me on Indiblogger. :) I didn't blog for about 6 months, I guess I needed the break... but here I am! :) Regards, Ajesh

Bhavin Sangoi said...

Hmmm I thought about your question and I got some really good insights. I
think if I write all those thoughts on paper then it will become
another blog post. Since I am little busy in next two-three days I can't
write all that now. However, if you don't mind I would like to answer
this question by writing a separate post either on my blog or even
better if you do me a favour to allow me writing a guest post on your
blog after three or four days, since this
discussion was started on your blog.

Shaan Menon said...

I remember reading one quote "because whats worse than knowing you want something, besides knowing you can never have it?" ...its by James Patterson. Well, unrequitted love can be at times painful., but it has its joys too.. why bother about what is due to you... when all one can do is to be happy with the fact that one got a chance have an emotion for the other... ???

anyhow, i think one needs to make a distinction here.. there could be two types of unrequitted love.. the one you mentioned as 'One sided'.. it is of course worthwhile.. for oneself to soak oneself in that love, even if the other person doesnt love one back... But.. the other form of requitteed love.. when one gives everything to the other.. and still the other doesnt respond in the same vein....that could be painful..

Anyhow..welcome back... and you wrote very well..the flow was still there.. and eloquent as always... keep writing..

BookWorm said...

I remember reading one quote "because whats worse than knowing you want something, besides knowing you can never have it?" ...its by James Patterson. Well, unrequitted love can be at times painful., but it has its joys too.. why bother about what is due to you... when all one can do is to be happy with the fact that one got a chance have an emotion for the other... ???

anyhow, i think one needs to make a distinction here.. there could be two types of unrequitted love.. the one you mentioned as 'One sided'.. it is of course worthwhile.. for oneself to soak oneself in that love, even if the other person doesnt love one back... But.. the other form of requitteed love.. when one gives everything to the other.. and still the other doesnt respond in the same vein....that could be painful..

Anyhow..welcome back... and you wrote very well..the flow was still there.. and eloquent as always... keep writing..

RESTLESS said...

Hi Bhavin! Its gud to see that Restless is not forgotten! Thank u so much and i too welcome u back to the blogosphere! Yes life had been very busy but something did make me write again. I hv always valued your balanced opinions on various issues u hv written about. Tks again

RESTLESS said...

I appreciate your views and more than that the clarity of thoughts. I must say that u demystified reciprocation in love at different stages. True that initially some reciprocation is needed....later your interests merge with the interests of your love. But what i asked was that is it possible to keep loving a person who doesnot reciprocate your feelings and does not really put in any effort in the relationship? Is it really love or obsession when you love a person who cannot love you back? Would like to hear bak.

RESTLESS said...

Bhavin Sangoi said:

Hmmm I thought about your question and I got some really good insights. I
think if I write all those thoughts on paper then it will become
another blog post. Since I am little busy in next two-three days I can't
write all that now. However, if you don't mind I would like to answer
this question by writing a separate post either on my blog or even
better if you do me a favour to allow me writing a guest post on your
blog after three or four days, since this
discussion was started on your blog.

RESTLESS said...

Hello Bhavin, it would be a pleasure. Please write a guest post on my blog. It would be a first!

Bhavin Sangoi said...

Thank you very much for providing this opportunity as this would be
first guest post on any other blog in even my case. As I get some free
time I'll send you a mail by post, so please send me your mail Id on
contactme@bhavinsangoi.com.

Prateek said...

Long time.

I heard this somewhere which I really liked, “Love is a
powerful weapon… it can work for us or against us, granted. I suppose heart
knows something that we don’t know. Love can be inconvenient or perhaps
inappropriate…. make us do things which we wouldn’t even dream of doing, but wrong…
that just depends upon where we end up.”

No one has completely understood how love works. Love cannot
be forced or you cannot expect the person to love you back. One sided love is
tough. In today’s time it is hard to find people who hold such emotions for
each other. Some sacrifice their power and status for their love while some
sacrifice their love for power. That is what makes it painful, I guess.

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Nita Mehta said...

Same questions... some thoughts ... just thought i should share it.. let me know your comments on it.

http://somethingifeel-nishu.blogspot.in/2013/07/finally-got-back.html

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