Surendra Verma

Born in 1941 in Jhansi, Madhya Pradesh, Shri Surendra Verma studied linguistics and began his literary career as a short- story writer and novelist in the ’60s. With his play Surya ki Antim Kiran se Surya ki Pahli Kiran Tak, produced by the National School of Drama Repertory Company in 1974, Shri Verma came to national attention. He subsequently attracted wider notice with Aathwan Sarg (1976), Chhote Saiyad, Bade Saiyad (1980), and Qaid-e-Hayaat (1989). Surya ki Antim Kiran se Surya ki Pahli Kiran Tak has been translated into several Indian languages besides English and staged in almost all parts of the country. In his days, Shri Verma has drawn heavily from Indian myth and history, interpreting them afresh and investing them with contemporary relevance. In his work he has continually sought to realize and redefine Indian identity, often structuring his plays around figures such as Kalidasa, Chandragupta, Shakuntala, the Saiyad brothers, and Mirza Ghalib. He has so far written seven full-length and three one-act plays, besides several short stories and novels. Shri Verma received the Bharatendu Puraskar from the Government of Uttar Pradesh in 1976 and 1992 and the Kalidas Puraskar from Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad in 1977. Shri Surendra Verma receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to theatre as a playwright.