You See A Silver Lining When You Least Expect It: An Incident From Balraj Sahni’s Life

Before leaving his mark as an actor, Balraj Sahani was a professor in English literature at Shanti Niketan and his wish was to earn a good reputation as a writer. He also worked for the BBC. He was doing well in writing when he met Chetan Anand in Gulbarg, who took him to the Mumbai Film Industry.

However, he didn’t like it in Mumbai. Mumbai and especially the people in the Hindi film industry were strangers to him. He was determined to work for Punjabi literature and he decided to leave Mumbai.

He decided to stay in Punjab or Kashmir and work as a writer. He discussed it with his friends and told them that, “To live in Mumbai is difficult for me and after my wife’s death, I don’t even wish to go to Mumbai.”


But, he changed his mind because of a letter from a friend. Famous Hindi writer Amrutlal Nagar wrote him a letter, saying that film producer Virendra Desai is making a film with his story and he has selected Sahani as the lead actor. He would be paying him ten thousand rupees and that he wishes that Sahani signs the film.

Balraj Sahani read that letter many times and finally, he wrote a reply to Amrutlal Nagar that  said, “I am coming to Mumbai to do this film.” He then starred in many films and plays and earned a respectful place in the Hindi film industry.  He is best known for Dharti Ke Lal, Do Bigha Zameen, and Kabuliwala.


In 1972, while giving a speech to JNU students, Sahni said a powerful thing, “Whenever  I lost courage, life became a meaningless burden.”

We see his son Parikshit Sahni in the film industry these days.

Life takes its own twists and turns when we least expect it. What we deserve will definitely come our way! Keep believing.

Preview Photo:

Aashu Patel
Aashu Patel

Aashu Patel is a writer, who has written on a variety of genres ranging from crime to inspirational. 40 books written by him are published. He has worked as an editor of many leading newspapers. He has written many novels. Well-known film director Tigmanshu Dhulia is making a Hindi film based on his English novel 'Madam X'.

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