THE MURDER OF AMRITA SHER-GIL IN LAHORE – A JEALOUS HUSBAND POISONS A NYMPHOMANIAC

THE MURDER OF AMRITA SHER-GIL IN LAHORE
A JEALOUS HUSBAND POISONS A NYMPHOMANIAC

A bizarre case of Lahore

Catalogue
Catalogue

M.A. Rahman Chughtai was introduced to Amrita by her father Umrao Singh Sher-gil. Umrao Singh was a valued and respected friend of the artist. In the meeting Dr Allama Iqbal was also there and he too, was introduced to Amrita. The father, Umro Singh expressed high hopes for her. The father was a specialist on Omar Khayyam as well as Sufi poetry and Chughtai had many discussions with him. When Amrita Sher-gil came to settle in Lahore, and wanted to hold an exhibition here, people co-operated with her. The story is best told in the Foreword to her catalogue. I think hardly anybody would have it, and many chatter box Totas speak of Amrita, without knowing anything about her.

Foreword one
Foreword one
Foreword two
Foreword two

That very day Amrita was coming to see M.A. Rahman Chughtai, when she died and the artist wrote a condolence on her, which we can print later. The first version is attached with this writing. Suffice to say that her death was an enigma and could not be officially resolved to this day. But people knew the personality of Amrita. She had excessive sexual appetite and she quenched it with affairs with many people. Her Hungarian husband Dr Victor Egan did not like that, although he loved her very much. A jealous husband with access to sophisticated poisons, poisoned her to death. That was the story everybody knew in Lahore and is known in art circles. Excess always produce an excessive reaction. The gallery fell through, as well as the proposed clinic of the husband. No body won, every body lost. Lahore which was ready to host the Sikh artist lost her in the same moment. The discussion on art which was supposed to happen with M.. Rahman Chughtai and Amrita Sher-gil never happened. This is how fate operates, by spinning endless tales of mystery.

Amrita in Paris
Amrita in Paris

21 thoughts on “THE MURDER OF AMRITA SHER-GIL IN LAHORE – A JEALOUS HUSBAND POISONS A NYMPHOMANIAC”

    1. I have always been very fascinated with Amrita Shergil. She lived and died at 23 Sir Ganga Ram Mansion, The Mall, Lahore. That house was only six houses away from our No.30. Although I did not know about it then that it was Amrita’s house but till 1978 I was a frequent visitor to that house to meet my friends Christopher Dias who used to live in the Upper Storey and the D;Souzas who lived at the Ground floor. Amrita died in the first floor room. The top of the house contained a Barsaati on the roof that was her Studio. She made her last painting sitting there. The Ground floor was the Dispensary and the Consultation Room. of her doctor husband. Her funeral was brought out from that house and she was cremated at the banks of river Ravi. Late Khalid Hassan the eminent Writer/Journalist told me that a Heritage Plaque should be put at her house marking it as the residence of Amrita Shergil. I think we should do that. Thank you Arif Sahib for writing on Amrita Shergil.

      1. The present set-up will even demolish the house of Dr Allama Iqbal or even Quaid-e-Azam. Who will care for poor Amrita? Nothing is sacred for greedy people.

  1. Though I do not understand art so well but the articles published by you are reflection of the fact that what magnificent history and culture this city of Lahore manifests in itself . I am grateful that you are educating young people and making them aware of their rich heritage. In the current article your this sentence has impressed we very much and is indeed the reality of life, “This is how fate operates, by spinning endless tales of mystery.” One question what I would like to ask is that in your opinion was it justified for Amrita to have extra marital sex just to fulfill her sexual desires and by doing so hasn’t she disgrased his husband which you said earlier loved her too much? I want your dedicated opinion on this matter.

    1. Nymphos have no set of principles. Their physical needs make them lose all other values. That s why one should curb endless delusions and illusions of fantasy of bookish orgasms. Love beats everything else. It makes human beings human not animals.

  2. One more thing it was my father Abdur Rahman Chughtai who convinced Umrao Singh (his friend) to let Amrita pursue a career of art. He felt no need for same.

  3. Mr. Arif,
    I fully subscribe to your views on the mysterious death of Amrita Shergill, but would like you to corroborate your accusation with a convincing conviction.

  4. Dear Deepak Sahib, I felt so nice with your writing comments on our blog. In real terms we are trying to bridge the gap between our nation. Well done! Without losing our own identity, we can still live in love peace and harmony.
    My father was a great friend of Amrita’s father, and everybody in Lahore knew of her exploits. A neighbour of Amrita (next door) told me of her secret meeting with another neighbour Khushwant Singh, as well as visits from Jawaharlal Nehru, who she used to meet at Faletti’s Hotel Lahore. The truth is that however much her husband loved her, he was incapable of satisfying her sexual hunger. That’s the truth. But there is one thing more. I cannot place the reference right now, but I read that in the end, before his death, her husband broke down and actually confessed to the crime. More proof than that is not possible. But in any case the father did not want to pursue the same to police and court.

  5. The lifeline of amrita is exciting although. Pl. tell us more about armita, her affairs and her likings. why they shifted to lahore.
    if she was so nymph,why did she married to a doctor then. does she had any child. i have also read that she was interested both male and female. is there any female affair confirms it.

    1. Dr Victor Egan was a thorough gentleman and her relative from the mother’s side. Eastern girls end up doing things which they do not want. Her character is faultless as is her family. Her desires are a result of her artistic drives. Creativity spurred by sexual drives but there was need for power control. Never in our lives have we heard of any other drives i n her life. She was a woman of substance in all ways. Lahore was her Punjab roots and she had a lot planned in her art related to the Art of M.A. Rahman Chughtai. The condolence letter of Chughtai Artist explains a lot of things.

  6. This lady prayed role model especially in these modern days.she was a careered .and talented lady since her childhood,i see there great reason why we should remember her.though she went away without accompolishing her mission she left a gap but where she went she will not come back but all of us we will go through there and that is death.

  7. Dear Chugtai Sahib:

    I have only recently read your article on Amrita. I’ll be obliged if you could give me some information about H.L. Prasher who wrote the catalog reproduced by you. Who was he? what was his background? Where did he go after Partition? What was his achievement. I want some not all details about him.
    Thank you and best wishes,
    Sarvan Minhas
    Patiala

    1. Prasher was a great friend of my father and even his children kept in touch with us till recently. I will try to get out more but his daughter was concerned about us.

    1. Debojyoti Jee Art releases tensions within country and without. It brings people together regardless of beliefs. So relax with our own Chughtai Art too. There is message of good will here.

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