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Although it is touted as her biography, the stories do not follow the chronology. Pritam has written about events which touched her and shaped her personality. Through these anecdotes, you come to know about various facets of her personality- her longing for Sahir, her relationship with Imroz, her hopes, her ideologies etc.
The way she has described each and every event leaves an impression on your mind. I personally Rasidi Ticket by Amrita Pritam is the collection of her important life events. I personally felt a little underwhelmed while reading the book. It could be because I expected a lot from the book. But it is definitely a one-time read. She keeps to the chronology of events more or less. Her story is laid out in a series of episodes that she feels were important in her life.
Although it does not read like a cohesive story, we do get an idea of what her life was like. She Raseedi Ticket is a sort of an autobiography of Amrita Pritam.
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 featuring these men. She is completely honest about how she feels about them, and gives out no sleazy details, just as it should be.
She recounts an incident about Haider. One day at a party Haider was offered a plate of Imarti rather pointedly. Then she writes about the incident that gave birth of a lovely song. One evening, after her affair with Sahir was long over, she went with Imroz to see him.
They sat till long in the evening, drinking whiskey. After they left, Sahir could not sleep and spent the night drinking pouring whiskey into the three glasses by turn and drinking. That night he wrote his beautiful nazm which were later used in the film "Dooj Ka Chand". Mehfil se uth jaane walon tum logon par kya ilzaam Tum abaad gharon ke wasi Main awara aur badnaam mere saathi khali jaam There are chapters devoted to her dreams and how she believes they are an omen and often a solution to the problems she faced at the time.
Her spirituality was eclectic. She believed in Sikhism, sufis of various types, sadhus and sants who were rumoured to have special powers. She is true to herself as a woman, and believes in telling the truth as she knows it. The few poems and nazms that she showcases in the book are breathtaking.
She tells about how she got inspiration to write her famous poem "Ajj Akhan Waris Shah noon". She also talks about the acclaim the poem received all over. In Pakistan, where there is a special festival takes place on the theme of Waris Shah, her poem is recited and enacted to.
They were mortified that anyone could write so about the mother of Guru Nanak. 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 was an ordinary woman bearing an ordinary child. What did Mata Tripta feel like carrying a divine baby like Guru Nanak?
She also writes a heartfelt ode to her constant companion Imroz. He gave her space and provided support to her always. I have read some books of hers in the past, but I am afraid I remember little of those.
I really need to get a book of her poems and some novels.
Raseedi Ticket / رسیدی ٹکٹ