Author: Amrita Pritam
Publisher: Al Hamd Publication, Lahore
Publishing Date: 1976
Cost: Rs. 198 (Hardcover)
Raseedi Ticket is Amrita Pritam's celebrated autobiography, which tells us how she felt distressed at the influence of hate; she was traumatised by the horrors of the Partition, out of which her poem 'Vaaris Shah' was born. Her autobiography says that a writer should not be afraid of criticism, no matter how hostile the world might become. The time between her intimacy with Sahir and deep friendship with Imroz is described beautifully. Amrita’s story is laid out in a series of episodes that she feels were important in her life.
This is a collection of her diary pages, a few of her poems, and an analysis of what used to appear in her dreams.
She speaks about her relationship with Sahir, her relationship with the Pakistani writer Sajjad Haider and of course, her dream companion, Imroz. She recounts episodes in her life calling attention to these men. Her account of them, how she feels towards them has been put down very honestly.
There are chapters devoted to her dreams and how she believed there were often solutions to the problems she faced at the time. She believed in Sikhism, Sufis of various types, Hindu priests who were rumoured to have special powers.
There are a few poems and nazms that are mentioned in the book. She tells about the inspiration behind her famous poem "Ajj Akhan Waris Shah noon". She also addresses the critical acclaim and appreciation it got from everywhere. She tells the story behind another poem of hers ‘Mata Tripta Da Sapna’. Amrita says that one winter night, she got a phone call from her son. She had run out of a warm razai to hear the phone. Exchanging a few words with her son made her feel warm all over. She remembered what it was like carrying this child in her womb. She tried to imagine what Mata Tripta felt like, carrying a divine baby like Guru Nanak.
In the book, one would learn about her friendships, relationships immersed with her verses, and thoughts on some characters and situations. The book is a collection of memories from her life.
The book title directly translates to 'revenue stamp'. It also has a story behind it. Khushwant Singh had once told her that her life story was so inconsequential and tiny that it could be written at the back of a revenue stamp. Keeping this humorous comment in mind, Amrita entitled her Autobiography: ‘Raseedi Ticket’ or ‘The Revenue Stamp’.
About the Author:
Amrita Pritam (31st August 1919 - 31st October 2005) was considered the first eminent female Punjabi writer, novelist, and poet of the 20th century. Her writing is equally loved by the people of India and Pakistan. In her over 6 decades-long careers, she produced over a hundred works, including poetry, essays, novels, biographies, etc.
She was honoured with prestigious awards like the 'Sahitya Akademi,' 'Bharatiya Jnanpith,' and 'Padma Vibhushan' among many others. One of her most famous novels titled 'Pinjar' was made into a movie of the same name. She also penned an autobiography, in which she expressed her audacity by writing about her personal life, which might be considered 'controversial' by many, even in contemporary India. Amrita Pritam is most remembered for her poem, 'Ajj aakhaan Waris Shah nu’.