Theatre In M.S. Sathyu's ‘Amrita - a sublime love story', the writer's life is brought to stage, supported by meaningful soliloquies and elegies. VISHNUPRIYA BHANDARAM

The idea of unrequited love is probably the most romantic, right from Romeo and Juliet to our very own Heer-Ranjha. In fact celebrated French novelist and critic Marcel Proust had said that the only successful love is unrequited love.

Poet, writer, Amrita Pritam's life is indeed a transcendent love-story. Her tryst with writing began at the tender age of 11 when her mother passed away, and it was only putting pen to paper that took away her loneliness. In love with Urdu poet Sahir Ludhianvi, Amrita's journey into the unchartered and often harsh paths of unrequited love began. She was married off to Pritam Singh. In the course of that marriage she bore two children — a girl and boy. But mutual differences and her obvious love for Sahir led her to eventually separate from Pritam. The material for the play, Amrita — a sublime love story has largely been drawn from Amrita's own writings, news articles and other research.

The heaviness of the script however makes you wonder if would have made for a better reading experience than a theatrical presentation.

The story of Amrita comes alive through a conversation between Amrita and Waqt (time) played by Mangat Ram, about herself. You are then welcomed into the Sufi-flavoured, deewana life of Amrita Pritam. She finds respite in Imroz's love having lost a chance to be with Sahir. The emotions of love erupt in bursts during the play and but remain uncontained. She says that for 15 years, her heart yearned for Sahir and as she wrote his name on everything, so much so that even when she found love in Imroze she often caught herself writing Sahir's name on his back. “The weight of my unmet desire and love, Imroze accepted and bore like his own…” she muses in a heart rending soliloquy. Amrita spent her last 40 years with Imroze, melting in his love.

Lavlin Thadani as Amrita excelled, especially with her rhythmic speech pattern, enticing the audience to know more about Amrita and her life but eventually the monotony of her tone became overbearing. Kedar Nath as Imroze was convincing in his act. The play worked more as a tribute to Amrita Pritam than a play with a plot or seminal purpose. However the splendour of creative thought seen in a few scenes is enough to keep the art in the heart alive.

The play, presented by Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation, was performed at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.