Mohsin Lahori To Rajinder Singh Bedi

Qasim Khan Lahore

Rajinder Singh Bedi,  a progressive Urdu writer, playwright, screenwriter, dialogue writer and a Hindi film director. was born in Lahore on  1 September 1915, to a Khatri father Hera Singh Bedi and Brahman mother Sewa Dei.

His father was in service of General POst Office Lahore and the family used to live in goernment residence behind it however their native town was ''Dalley Ki, Tehsil Daska District Sialkot.


Initially he started writing with the pen name 'Mohsin Lahori' but later started using his own name. His first short story "Maharani ka Tohfa" won the best Short Story of the Year, given by Adabi Dunya, a prominent Urdu monthly magazine, published from Lahore.

He started his career working as a clerk at Lahore Post Office in 1933. In 1941 he joined the Urdu section of All India Radio, Lahore. While working at All India Radio he wrote many plays, including his famous drama Khawaja Sara and Nakl-i-Makaani.

In 1943, he joined Maheshwari Films, a small film studio in Lahore, although after one and half years he returned to All India Radio and was posted to Jammu, where he worked until 1947, and became the Director of Jammu and Kashmir Broadcasting Service.

Some of his best work as a dialogue writer can be seen in films Mirza Ghalib (1954), Dev Das (1955), Basant Bahar, Madhumati (1958), Anuradha (1960), , Anupama (1966) Satyakam (1969) and Abhimaan (1973). As a director he is most known for his films Dastak (1970) and Phagun (1973).

His classic novella Ek Chadar Maili Si was first made into a film in Pakistan, ''Mutthi Bhar Chawal'' (1978) and later in India, as ''Ek Chadar Maili Si'' (1986), a rare distinction for an Urdu author to have his work picturized on both sides of the border.

Rajinder Singh Bedi is considered one of the greatest 20th century progressive writers of Urdu fiction, and one of the most prominent Urdu fiction writer, alongwith Saadat Hasan Manto, Krishan Chandar and Ismat Chughtai. Like Manto he is most known for his "disturbing" Partition of India tales. ''Garam Coat'', ''Grehan'', ''Kokh Jali'', ''Apne Dukh Mujhe Dedo'', ''Lajwanti'' and ''Methon'' are some of his famous short stories.

His only son Narender Bedi was also a film maker. Bedi died on 11 November 1984 in Mumbai.

(Note: Some sources on net say that he was born ''near Sialkot'', which is not correct.)