Who Is Balraj Sahni?
“A Meri Zohra Jambi” still lives on everyone’s juba. The life of this famous artist of films is like rainbow colors, in which there are many expressions of action plan. Balraj’s family was Aryasamaji. Father Harbans Lal had a good business. Balraj was born on 1 May 1913 in Rawalpindi. Although he was initially named Yudhishthar in his childhood, but his aunt could not take his name properly. In those days it was a practice to name the children of Aryasamaji families according to Hindu devamala.
When people started calling him in place of Yudhishthar, he was forced to name the child Balraj Sahni. Father Harbans Lal got Balraj admitted in Gurukul but there Balraj did not like to study on the basis of religion, then one day he dared to tell father that I will not study in Gurukul. The father expressed his displeasure but got Balraj admitted to the DAV. It was from here that Balraj started showing his talent in drama etc. When studying in the 7th, he had also brought out a handwritten journal. After passing matriculation, Balraj started studying at DAV College where Sanskrit and Philosophy were compulsory subjects. In those days, the teacher of English Jaswant Rai had a special influence on him. During college, Balraj’s eyesight changed and patriotic intoxication started pouring in on him.
Start of acting life
Balraj Sahni joined the ‘Indian Progressive Theater Association’ (IPTA) to fulfill his childhood passion. He first got the opportunity to act in Phani Mazmudar’s drama Insaaf in 1946 in IPTA. Along with this, Balraj Sahni also got an opportunity to work as an actor in Ipta’s film ‘Dharti Ke Lal’ under the direction of Khwaja Ahmad Abbas. Balraj Sahni faced many difficulties due to his involvement with IPTA. He also had to go to jail due to his revolutionary and communist views. In those days he was busy shooting for the film ‘Hustle’ and used to shoot the film under special arrangement at the request of the producer. He used to go back to jail after the shooting was over.
Sahni, an outspoken advocate of communist ideology, was an actor of the masses who, with his strong acting, connected the audience emotionally with the character of the screen. When on screen he appeared in the role of a rickshaw driver, a lost laborer in his film ‘Do Bigha Zamin’, it was felt that the rickshaw puller pulling the streets of Kolkata is not Shambhu but an established actor. Actually, it was his quality to completely drown in the characters. This can be felt in any of his films including ‘Kabuli Wala’, ‘Lajwanti’, ‘Haqiqat’, Do Bigha Zamin, ‘Dharti Ke Lal’, ‘Hot Hawa’, ‘Waqt’, ‘Do Rasta’.
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Balraj Sahni Writing life
Meanwhile Balraj (Balraj Sahni) made a living by writing literature. He came to Calcutta and, taking the support of the then editor of “Vishal Bharat”, Agyenji, started writing regularly in letters. Soon many of his works came to light and a collection of poems by Balraj “Kungposh” was published. Initially, he wrote in Hindi and English, but with the inspiration of Mahakavi Rabindranath, he started writing in Punjabi also because Gurudev told that Punjabi is as old as Bengali and everyone will feel gratitude by writing in the language in which Gurunanak wrote.
Balraj (Balraj Sahni) found it difficult to live only by living in a metropolis like Calcutta, then he came again to Shanti Niketan and met Krishna Dev again through Krishna Kripalani. He requested Gurudev that he should keep him a teacher in Shanti Niketan as soon as possible. It also said that even if the job is delayed, he is confident of sending 100 rupees from his father, which will lead to subsistence for a few days. Hearing this simple, simple statement of Balraj, Gurudev with a humorous nature laughed and said, “If you have 100 rupees then you are richer than me. Well you can rest assured that you will not have to spend these rupees ”.
Balraj Sahni was a talented writer; His early writings were in English, although later in life he converted to Punjabi, and became a distinguished writer in Punjabi literature.In 1960, after a visit to Pakistan, he wrote my Pakistani safar, his book, Meri Rasiya Safanam, called He wrote after a visit to the Soviet Union in 1969, receiving him the “Soviet Land Nehru Award”. He wrote many poems and short stories in magazines and also his autobiography; My film autobiography Sahni was a very well read and politically conscious person.