THE MURDER OF AMRITA SHER-GIL IN LAHORE
A JEALOUS HUSBAND POISONS A NYMPHOMANIAC
A bizarre case of Lahore
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.
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.