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Today, on 31st August, Google Doodle celebrates the 100th birth anniversary of a Punjabi novelist named Amrita Pritam. She was born in 1919 in Gujranwala, Punjab (Pakistan) during British India to a poet father and a school teacher mother. Amrita was an Indian novelist, writer, essayist, and an eminent Punjabi poet of the 20th century. Her writings are both in Punjabi and Hindi languages, and that's the reason she's loved by both India and Pakistan.
Amrita's first collection of poems was published in the year 1936 when she was just sixteen years old. But she was remembered most for her poem 'Ajj Aankhaan Wahin Shah Nu' which is addressed to Sufi poet Waris Shah and based on the partition of India and Pakistan. Her novel 'Pinjar' was among her most noted works which were later made into a movie with the same name that won many awards.
Amrita's works include more than 100 books of poetry, essays, biographies, folk songs, and many more. She was also a member of Progressive Writer's Movement and a book named Lok Peed was based on the same. Many are not aware of the fact but Amrita also worked at Lahore Radio Station before the partition and edited a Punjabi monthly literary magazine called 'Nagmani' for several years. Amrita was also a spiritual theme writer and wrote books like 'Kaal Chetna' and 'Agyat Ka Nimantran'.
Amrita received many awards in her six-decade career including 'Bharatiya Jnanpith literary' award in 1981 and 'Padma Vibushan' award in 2005. She was also the first most recipient of 'Punjab Rattan Award' and the first women to receive the 'Sahitya Akademi Award' in the year 1956 for her work 'Sunehadey'. At the last stage of her life, she was also awarded by Pakistan's Punjabi Academy and gifted a chaddar by many Punjabi Pakistani poets from the tombs of Waris Shah.
On October 31, in the year 2005, she took her last breath. Later in 2007, famous poet Gulzar released an audio album 'Amrita recited by Gulzar' in which he had recited her unforgettable poems.