Bhisham Sahni, the celebrated writer, was a man of many accomplishments and extreme modesty. He carried his
numerous honours and awards with grace and lightness. He charmed everybody with his self-deprecating humour
and a luminous smile that had its source in his guilelessness. His voice, both as a writer and a man, was
serene and pure and resonant with humane reassurances. His immense popularity was not a result of any
pandering to vulgar tastes but a reward for his literary merits—his sharp wit, his gentle irony, his
all-pervasive humour, his penetrating insight into character, his mastery as raconteur, and his profound grasp
of the yearnings of the human heart.
Bhisham Sahni won laurels as a novelist notably with Tamas and Mayyadas Ki Marhi; he made his
mark as a playwright particularly with Hanoosh and Kabira Khada Bajaar Mein; he stood out as an
actor even in his few brief appearances in films like Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho and Mr & Mrs Iyer;
but he was at his best in his numerous ‘masterly brevities’, if I may use...