Shining light


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This is a gem from Amrita Pritam’s pen. In Hindi, it is titled ‘Roshni’ (translated ‘Light’ or ‘luminous’)  and is a dark, moody piece. If words, mere sounds, can carry dark on their wings, this poem does it.

Amrita was known to have dark phases when the silence she carried within surrounded her like a cloak, isolating her from the river of life that continued around her. Expectedly, these phases were also her most creative periods, when she wrote poems in a single draft – no refinement, no polishing, no second takes.


I see a small light

this lonesome night -

the flame of your memory

leaps higher somewhere inside.


A scar, maybe a wound –

A gash deep in my heart

was found tonight

by the wealth of stars…


The sun had vanished

from heaven’s sight –

But now the moon

brings me news of its light.


One drop of your love

dissolved in my cup –

And all the bitterness of life

became sweet, bearable strife.



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