5 popular books from the legendary writer

Bhisham Sahni, born August 8, 1915 in Rawalpindi in present-day Pakistan, was one of the greatest writers of Hindi literature. While his work in Hindi is celebrated, Sahni has also worked in Punjabi and English. He lived through the days when India was going through a period of churn and was in the midst of the struggle for freedom. Sahni raised awareness through his work and took an active part in the struggle for freedom by joining the Indian National Congress. After the score he moved and settled in India where he pursued his passion for writing while teaching at various colleges.

During her career, Sahni wrote short stories, plays and books that made a deep impression on her readers. Her work has earned her rave reviews and numerous awards, including the Padma Bhushan in 1998 and the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship in 2002.

As we remember the legendary writer on his 106th birthday, we take a look at some of the most popular books written by him.


Sahni wrote Tamas in response to a series of community violence in Bhiwandi of Maharashtra in the early 1970s. The empty streets and ghostly silence of Bhiwandi reminded Sahni of partition when Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs were killing each other.

Balraj, my brother

Sahni wrote an ode to the life of his older brother and actor Balraj with a fascinating portrayal in Balraj, my brother. Through her writings, Sahni introduced readers to sources and a force that contributed to Balraj’s radiant and charming personality.


Jharokhe is a touching novel presenting the story of a small family. Sahni recounts the daily incidents that occur in the life of the family through the eyes of a small child. Each incident has an impact on the children of the family and shapes their future character.


With Basantii, Sahni tells the story of a young villager who came to a big city with her family in the hope of a better life. However, with time, the problems in their life worsen. The slums of the city where she lives are removed to make room for settlements and large buildings. The novel captures the young girl’s struggle to find her way in the midst of all that is going on around her.

Manor or Mayyadas

The Mansion or Mayyadas traces the history of a small town in Punjab that witnessed a change in people’s fortunes and lives during a period when the former Khalsa Raj was defeated by British rule. At the heart of the novel is the story of a mansion witnessing the change in lifestyle over a period of 300 years.

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