Reading this book is like becoming their love and their longing. Amrita-Imroze, known as ‘The Painter and the Poet’.
Letters are written when the lovers are away from each other but are so connected their hearts that this physical separation becomes difficult to cognize. The connect is so dreamlike that the reality of separated bodies rises as a realization not quite in sync with the mind and the heart. It is in these pangs of yearning that these letters are written. Sometimes talking about the political scenario, sometimes the challenges of work, sometimes the international audience, sometimes about a cup of tea, sometimes about her writings and sometimes about his paintings. And sometimes just expressing how it is impossible to bear each other’s absence and in that telling, it becomes possible. One can say that there is longing than love in these letters, but the longing in immersed in immense love and only love.
Imroz wrote to her regularly, trying to win her love during their years of separation in the early 1960s, before they finally started living together, without marrying, not to be separated for the next four decades. It was a unique relationship that transcended social sanctions and the formal legitimacy of law. And, perhaps, that is how it was meant to be. Amrita once wrote for Imroz, “I feel that the fourteen years that I spent pining for Sahir’s love were just a prelude to my passion for you….” – Chitleen K Seth Meenakshi Iyer – The Indian Express
Imroze would lovingly call her ‘barkatein’ from (plural) ‘barkat’; meaning abundance/prosperity/blessing/auspiciousness – Uma Trilok