Indian author, screenplay writer, teacher, and playwright; Mannu Bhandari was born on 3 April 1931 in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, and married to writer Rajendra Yadav.
Some of her popular stories include ‘Yeh Sach Hai’, ‘Aankhon Dekha Jhooth’, and ‘Trishunk’. Her most famous and most read novel ‘Aapka Bunty’ got her recognition and fame. The novel describes the story of love, marriage and the breakdown of the marital relationship. It is considered a milestone in Hindi literature. Many of her popular books has been translated into Bengali, English, and French.
Mahabhoj (Feast) is her another story and was based on the massacre of Dalits in Belchhi, Bihar, in which 11 persons belonging to Dalit and Scheduled Caste communities were captured, bound, murdered, and their corpses burned, by a private militia of ‘upper’ caste landlords in 1977, who then feasted beside the pyre while it burned.
Bhandari also wrote over 150 short stories, several other novels, screenplays for television and film, and adaptations for theater. She was a pioneer of the ‘Nayi Kahani movement’ in Hindi literature, which focused on the aspirations of the emerging Indian middle class, and her own work is notable for its depiction of the inner lives of middle class working and educated women. Her work tackles themes of family, relationships, gender equality, and caste discrimination in India.
Watch a short clip of the renowned author Mannu Bhandari:
Bhandari’s writing has been extensively adapted for film and stage, including productions for Doordarshan (India’s public broadcast service), the BBC, and National School of Drama in India. She received numerous awards in India for her work, including the Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthan and the Vyas Samman.
It is noteworthy that Basu Chatterjee made the film ‘Rajnigandha’ on one of her popular stories ‘Yi Sach Hai’. Amol Palekar, Vidya Sinha, and Dinesh Thakur played important roles in this hit film released in 1974.
Mannu Bhandari, renowned Hindi author passed away at Narayana Hospital in Gurugram, Haryana when she was 90 on 15 November 2021.