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Amrita Pritam

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The world has seen many poets, writers, whose writing had the ability to alter the mindsets of the people. One such writer, a poet who printed her footnote forever over the world, is Amrita Pritam. Amrita Pritam, born as Amrita Kaur in Mandi, Bahauddin, Punjab, now in Pakistan. Her father, Kartaj Singh Hitker was also a poet, a scholar of the Braj language and the editor of a literary journal. Her mother, Raj Bibi was a school teacher.

Amrita Pritam was an Indian novelist, essayist and poet. She used to write in both Punjabi and Hindi. Later on, she even wrote a few poems in Urdu. Her dynamic career spanned for 6 decades. During which she wrote over 100 books, which included poetry, fiction, biographies, and essays. She also wrote an autobiography which was later translated into several Indian as well as foreign languages.

amrita pritam

Her first anthology of poems was published in 1916 when she was 16 years old. Her one of the most notable work was ‘Aaj aankhan Waris Shah nu’, an elegy to the 18th-century Punjabi poet, [ Waris Shah was a poet famous for the tragedic saga Heer-Ranjha, with whom she shared her birthplace]. It was her expression of anguish over the massacre during the partition period. During which she was pregnant with her son, in 1947 moving from Lahore to Delhi.

As a novelist her most remarkable work was ‘Pinjar’, the skeleton published in 1950. In which she created her unforgettable character, Puro an exemplar of violence against women. The novel was later made into an award-winning movie, Pinjar.

amrita pritam

Though Amrita Pritam migrated from Pakistan to India, she is equally popular in both countries. She became the first woman to receive the Sahitya Akademi award (India’s Akademi of letters) in 2014, for Magnum Opus, a long poem, Sunehade (messages). Along with that she also gained Sahitya Akademi fellowship given to “immortal of literature” for lifetime achievement. Later she received the Bharatiya Jnanpith, one of India’s highest literary award in 1982 for ‘Kagaz te canvas’ (paper and canvas). She received Padma Shri and Padma Vibhusan, India’s second-highest civilian award, in 2014.

Her work mostly contained the agony of partition. She became a part of the progressive writer’s movement. During this period she wrote Lok peed (people’s anguish) in 1947, in which she criticised the war-torn economy after the Bengal famine of 1943.

amrita pritam

Amrita Pritam also indulged in many social activities. She also worked at a radio station in Lahore before the partition. She was an editor for ‘Nagmani’ a monthly magazine in Punjabi for several years, which she ran together with Imroz for 33 years. After partition, she wrote primarily in Hindi. She was also nominated in the upper house of the Parliament.

Amrita Pritam is not any poet, her thoughts were a reflection who showed the real side of the war and hatred to the world, through her writing. She was a Wanderer who had an incredible ability to compose her thoughts.

The Flavor Savior – Curry Leaves

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CURRY LEAVES

The curry leaf tree or the curry leaves form a substantial part of Indian cooking especially in South India and south-western cooking in India. It is used as a flavouring and seasoning agent and added to all kinds of gravies and vegetable dishes. The curry leaf tree or Murraya koenigii is a tropical tree in the family Rutaceae and is native to the Indian subcontinent. Curry leaf tree is also called karuveppilai, sweet neem, Kadi Patta, curry vepilla, karivepaku or noroxingho pat depending on the region of India. Curry leaves are also found in Sri Lanka, parts of Thailand and Cambodia where it is used in native cooking.

CURRY LEAVES

The plant is identifiable as being 4–6 m (13–20 feet) tall, with a trunk up to 40 cm (16 in) diameter, having a distinct aroma. Even though the tree produces both flowers and fruits only the leaves are used and have a vast majority of health benefits. Curry leaves are small in size and long, slender, and oval in shape narrowing to a point, averaging 2-4 centimeters in length and 1-2 centimeters in width.

It is said that curry leaves have a vast majority of anti-disease properties and are used as an herb in ayurvedic and Siddha medicine. The leaves are said to have anti-inflammatory properties, antimicrobial properties and are eaten to help digestion and ease digestive issues. Since it is a carrier of iron and folic acid, it also keeps anemia at bay. It helps to increase the body’s capacity to absorb iron and folic acid. It is also used to revitalize hair and is used as a treatment for dandruff.

CURRY LEAVES

Curry leaves are often sautéed with oil, mustard seeds, chilli, chilli powders, turmeric and other spices to give a mixture of spiced flavouring to curries, vegetable dishes and meat dishes. The leaves can also be cooked and ground with coconut and chillies and made into a chutney or Kariveppilai Thuvaiyal that can be eaten with roti (Indian flatbread) and rice.

Dishes from Kerala which include curry leaves range from buttermilk (moru) to thorans (cooked vegetables), meen curry (fish curry). Dishes in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu include – curry leaves rice (karibevu bath), curry leaves powder (karuveppilai podi), coconut curry leaves chutney for dosa and idly and Kuzhambu Recipes. North Indian recipes for curry leaves include kadhi and variants of chaas or buttermilk. Assamese recipes for fish curries also use curry leaves for seasoning. some meat dishes of chicken, fish, mutton all include the use of curry leaves.

Jhumpa Lahiri- Author of Immigrant perspectives

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JHUMPA LAHIRI

Books like “Interpreter of Maladies” and “The Namesake” have always been widely appreciated by the masses. The woman behind those wonderful words is Jhumpa Lahiri, a critically acclaimed author. 

Jhumpa Lahiri or Nilanjana Sudeshna “Jhumpa” Lahiri, is an American author who has published numerous short stories and novels all in English. But recently she has started to translate her work in Italian. Some of her famous works are Interpreter of Maladies, The Namesake, The Lowland and Unaccustomed Earth. 

Lahiri’s debut book was a collection of short stories Interpreter of Maladies (1999) which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. And her first novel The Namesake (2003) was adapted into a movie with the same name. Her second short-story collection Unaccustomed Earth (2008) won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, whereas her second novel The Lowland (2013) was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize as well as the National Book Award for Fiction.

jhumpa lahiri

In her own personal achievements, Lahiri has won National Humanities Award; and she is a professor of creative writing at Princeton University.

We can draw some main characteristics in Lahiri’s writing. Her writings mainly use a plain language, something that is understood by any age group even though the problem or theme is related to one generation or age-group. The main thing that is commonly seen in her workings is that the characters are mostly Indian Immigrants to America, something that she draws parallels to her own life with. These characters are frequently people who have to struggle through adjusting to new values and customs of America, which are very distinct from their homeland. The characters that are drawn in Lahiri’s books are carefully drafted. We can say that she examines and writes a strong character with struggles, anxieties and the detailing towards immigrant psychology is worth the acclamation she gets. 

Lahiri’s fiction can be said as autobiographical because it many a time draws up her personal experiences as well as those of her parents, friends and acquaintances from Bengali community which is familiar to her.