Pinjar (novel)

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Author Amrita Pritam
Original title ਪਿੰਜਰ
Translator Khushwant Singh (in English)
Denis Matringe (in French)
Country India
Language Punjabi
Genre Social
Publisher Tara Press (reprint)
Publication date
2009 (reprint)
Media type Print
ISBN 978-81-83860-97-0

Pinjar (Punjabi: ਪਿੰਜਰ, Urdu: پنجر‎, Hindi: पिंजर, English/Translation: The Skeleton) is a 1950 Punjabi novel written by noted poet and novelist Amrita Pritam.[1] It is the story of a Hindu girl, Puro, abducted by a Muslim man, Rashid[2] whose parents refuse to recover the defiled girl when she manages a run to her parents from Rashid's home. Pinjar is believed to be one of the best literatures written with backdrop of Partition of India.

Main Characters[edit]

  • Puro (later, Hamida)
  • Rashid
  • Ramchand
  • Lajo
  • Trilok
  • Rajjo
  • Tara (Puro's Mother)
  • Mohanlal (Puro's Father)
  • Shyamlal (Ramchand's Father)
  • Pagali
  • javed


Pinjar tells the story of Puro, a young Hindu woman who is betrothed to a young man, Ramchand. A Muslim, Rashid kidnaps her as his family has an ancestral dispute with Puro's family. One night, Puro manages to escape back to her parents, but her parents turn her away, explaining that if she stays, Rashid's Muslim clan would arrive and slaughter everyone. Left with no support, Puro returns to Rashid. Meanwhile, the British colonialists leave India under the effects of partition. Ramchand, his uncle, mother, cousin and sister (Lajo) leave for India after they found Ramchand's father missing in the Hindu-Muslim riots after partition.

Shortly after, Lajo is kidnapped by thugs, Puro meets Ramchand and who tells her about Lajjo. Puro finds Lajo and helps her escape with Rashid's help. They leave with Lajo for Lahore where Puro's brother, Trilok and Ramchand come to receive her. Trilok explains to her that she can start a new life with Ramchand as he is still ready to accept her. Puro refuses to go back to her home, saying that she is where she belongs. Puro seeks Rashid out and tearfully bids Ramchand, Trilok, and Lajo farewell forever.

This novel not only depicts the "Partition of India" but also describes the struggle of a woman and her helplessness very powerfully. As such, the novel is constructed at two levels. One at inner conscious level of Puro where she always fights with her thoughts, between her hatred and gradually developed affection towards Rashid (initially kidnaper, her husband and father of her children), her helplessness and pity on her fate. At other level this novel highlights the situation and status of Indian women living in rural areas.

This is one of the best works By Amrita Pritam.[citation needed]


It was adapted into 2003 Hindi film of the same name (Pinjar), starring Urmila Matondkar, Manoj Bajpai and Sanjay Suri in the lead roles. Besides critical acclaim, the film also won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration.[3]


  1. ^ Dutt, Nirupama (February 20, 2005). "Pinjar: a novel ahead of its times". The Sunday Tribune - Books. Chandigarh. The Tribune. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Always Amrita, Always Pritam". Chandigarh. The Tribune. November 5, 2005. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  3. ^ Pinjar at the Internet Movie Database