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Mira Nair is making a film! Author Ashwini Bhatnagar has penned a book on Amrita Sher-Gil – Beyond Bollywood

The Hungarian-Indian painter was known for her arts, and her contentious marriage with her first cousin Victor Egan.

By Mayur Lookhar

Author Ashwini Bhatnagar had a penned a book on legendary actress the late Meena Kumari.  This was to be made into a web-series by producer Prabhleen Kaur. The author is ready with his next, which is based on a 20th century painter of Indian descent. Published by Fingerprint Publications, Bhatnagar has launched his book Amrita and Victor. It is based on the love story between the Hungarian-Indian painter Amrita Sher-Gil and her husband Victor Egan, who was her first cousin. Their relationship naturally raised brows then.

The book engages with the taboo relationship which began when they were teenagers, bloomed into marriage despite parental opposition and ended with Amrita’s death under questionable circumstances when she was barely 28 years old.

Ashwini Bhatnagar says, “It is a portrait of an artist as a lover, author. It is also the first ever portrayal of Victor as a true liberal modern man who gave Amrita wings in their relationship.”

He adds, “The book is also a study of how quickly love dries into listlessness and despair under the sharp glare of marriage. It’s an exhilarating story and a poignant one too.”

Ashwini Bhatnagar

Amrita and Victor experimented with life in ways that were similar to her experiments in art. In fact, Amrita was a life spread out as art, and art spread out as life. The book brings out the engagement between life and art through an engaging narrative.

It must be recalled that in 2020, internationally acclaimed filmmaker Mira Nair had announced a film on the Hungarian-Indian painter. Covid-19 had delayed those plans. Buzz has it that actors like Vicky Kaushal, Jim Sarbh, Naseeruddin Shah are part of that project. Bhatnagar is not associated with that film, but his book is likely to give great insight into the life of the 20th century artist.

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