Biography of Mohan Rakesh – Pioneer of Nai Kahani (New Story) literary movement of Hindi Literature

Mohan Rakesh is a versatile drama writer and novelist in Hindi literature. His quality was that he was a master of fiction art and in his words, there is not only a great magic but also a classical discipline. From stories to novels, his narrative is the urban middle class. He was one of the pioneers of the Nai Kahani (“New Story”) literary movement of the Hindi literature in the 1950s.

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He was a talented playwright and novelist. We find gradual growth in his next tasks when we go through his early tasks. He was a master storyteller and had a great control over Hindi language. He wrote about most urban middle class people, their hopes and aspirations. In some stories, the pain of partition of India is expressed very strongly.  After the story, Mohan Rakesh has achieved success in the field of drama writing.   

Biography of Mohan Rakesh

Biography of Mohan Rakesh

NameMohan Rakesh[1]
Date of BirthJanuary 8, 1925
Place of BirthAmritsar, Undivided Punjab
Father’s NameDharmachand Guglani
DeathJanuary 3, 1972

Early Life and education of Mohan Rakesh

Mohan Rakesh, whose real name is Madan Mohan Guglani, was born in Amritsar on February 8, 1925. His father, Shri Dharamchand Guglani, was a prominent lawmaker who was deeply interested in literary work. His mother was a very simple woman who was extremely spiritual and committed to her duties as a mother and wife. Mohan Rakesh’s father invites scholars from every field and discusses various aspects of art, music and literature together for hours. This constant debate with scholars indirectly made Mohan Rakesh a career as an artist. His father a lawyer died when he was sixteen. Mohan Rakesh hailed from a Sindhi family. His father migrated from Sindh to Punjab long ago. He graduated in Hindi and English literature from Punjab University. Initially he started writing in Sanskrit because he was a Sanskrit student and he wrote prose and poetry only in Sanskrit. But in due course he realised that Sanskrit is not a language to be read and understood in general and he switched to Hindi as a medium of his expression. He felt that his experiences would be well shared with the people of Hindi, a common language in India.

Literary interest also had a great influence on Mohan Rakesh. Mohan Rakesh first passed the ‘Shastri’ exam from Oriental College in Lahore. Despite his father’s death, he did not give up his studies and continued his studies. He then got an M.A. in Hindi and English from ‘Punjab University.’ With the beginning of his professional career as a teacher, he was drawn to short stories. Then, he wrote many plays and novels. Later, he taught in Delhi, Jalandhar, Shimla and Mumbai for many years.

Also Read: Biography of Mannu Bhandari

Arrival in Writing

He started his career as a postman at Dehradun from 1947 to 1949, after that he shifted to Delhi, but found a teaching job in Jalandhar, Punjab for a short while. Subsequently, he remained Head of the Hindi department at DAV College, Jalandhar (Guru Nanak Dev University) and taught Hindi at Bishop Cotton School in Shimla for two years before coming back to to teaching Jalandhar. In Shimla, he had Ruskin Owen Bond among his students. Eventually he resigned from his job in 1957 to write full-time. Mohan Rakesh wrote many plays, stories and novels which are very famous after coming to writing in 1957. He also briefly edited Hindi literary journal Sarika, from 1962-63.

His noted novels are Andhere Band Kamare (Closed Dark Room) and Na Aane Wala Kal (The tomorrow that never comes). His palys Ashadh Ka Ek Din (1958) played a major role in reviving Hindi theatre in the 1960s and Adhe Adhure are highly regarded.

Personal life of Mohan Rakesh

Rakesh Mohan first got married in 1950 in an arranged marriage which ended in divorce in 1957. His second marriage also ended soon after in 1960. However, he found love in his third marriage to Anita Aulakh in 1963. Anita was 21 years old at the time of marriage. After his death, she was living in Delhi, and now in her seventies, lives in East of Kailash neighbourhood. Her autobiographical work Satrein Aur Satrein, was first serialized in the Hindi magazine Sarika, and later published in 2002.

Mohan Rakesh’s Literary Introduction

Mohan Rakesh did not object to teaching work due to his literary interest and for a year he edited the magazine ‘Sarika.’ He took this work as a hindrance to his writing and sidelined it and till the end of his life, independent writing was his means of livelihood.

Mohan Rakesh was a versatile hindi drama writer and novelist. Choosing sensitive feelings of society and finding a meaningful connection with them was the theme of his story.

In Hindi drama,  the period after Bharatendu Harishchandra and Jaishankar Prasad is the era of Mohan Rakesh, where Hindi plays were readded to theatre.  After Bharatendu Harishchandra and Jaishankar Prasad in Hindi drama literature, a name comes out, that is Mohan Rakesh. There are many other names in the middle, which have set an important milestone in the development journey of modern Hindi drama, but Mohan Rakesh’s writing seems to be in a different place.

Compositions of Mohan Rakesh

Mohan Rakesh’s works touch the hearts of readers and writers. Once who reads his composition is completely immersed in Rakesh’s words. Rakesh’s novels are – ‘Andhere Bandh Kamare’, ‘Na Aane Wala Kal’. In addition, ‘Adhe Adhure’, ‘Aashadh Ka Ek Din and ‘Lahron Ka Rajhans’ are some of his most famous plays. ‘Lahron Ka Rajhans’ is his most famous play. Mohan Rakesh wrote a lot of literature in genres like plays, novels, stories, travelogues, essays etc.

Lahron Ka Rajhans (The Swans of the Waves), a noted play of Mohan Rakesh anout an ancient Buddhist tale on the renunciation of the Buddha, and its aftereffects on his close family, was first written as a short story and later turned into a radio play for All India Radio Jalandhar, and broadcast under the title Sundri, though his struggle over different versions of the play lasted for nearly 20 years, before creating this masterpiece.

In July 1971, he received the Jawaharlal Nehru Felloeship for research on ‘The Dramatic Word’. However, he could not complete it and died on 3 January 1972.

Literary works of Mohan Rakesh


Andhere Bandh Kamare (1961), Na Aanewala Kal (1968), Antaraal (1972), Bakalama Khuda (1974)


Aadhe Adhure (1969), Lahron Ke Rajhans (1963), Ashadh Ka Ek Din (1958), Mohan Rakesh Ke Sampurn Natak (1993).


Mrichchkatikam (Sanskrit play), Shakuntalam (Sanskrit play)

Story anthologies

10 Pratinidhi Kahaniyan, Rat Ki Bahon Mein, Mohan Rakesh ki meri prem Kahaniyan.


‘Parivesh’, ‘Bakal Makhudh’.

Story Literature

He became known as the top storyteller of the ‘New Story Movement’. Mohan Rakesh is a versatile drama writer and novelist in Hindi. There is a constant evolution in their stories, bringing them closest to the fate of modern humans. His quality was that he was a master of fiction art and in his words, there is not only a great magic but also a classical discipline. From stories to novels, his narrative is the urban middle class. In some stories, the pain of partition of India is expressed very strongly. After the story, Rakesh has achieved success in the field of drama-writing.

Drama writing

Mohan Rakesh succeeded in drama writing after story. The period behind Bharatendu and Prasad in Hindi drama is the era of Mohan Rakesh, who reunited Hindi drama with theatre. After Bharatendu Harishchandra and Jaishankar Prasad in Hindi drama literature, if a name comes out, that is Mohan Rakesh. However, in the meantime there are many other names that have set important milestones in the development journey of modern Hindi drama; but Mohan Rakesh’s writing sits on another pole. Not only because he wrote good plays, he brought Hindi drama out of the dark room and brought it out of the romantic and supernatural attractions of the era and combined it with a new era.

In fact, Mohan Rakesh’s plays are not just Hindi plays. They must have been written in Hindi, but they are indicative of contemporary Indian dramatic tendencies. He not only gave the All India level to Hindi drama for the first time but also led its centuries of isolated flow to a common genre of world drama. Prominent Indian directors Ibrahim Alkazi, Om Shivpuri, Arvind Gaur, Shyamanand Jalan, Ram Gopal Bajaj and Dinesh Thakur directed Mohan Rakesh’s plays.

Language Style

Mohan Rakesh’s language is a sophisticated, refined, culturally vertical dialect. Their language varies according to the subject, character and country. On the one hand, the correct vocabulary of Sanskrit can be seen in his language, while simple and poetic languages are also found.

The quality of modernity comes in their language as simple conversational words and popular words like Urdu, English etc. are used from place to place. Mohan Rakeshji’s language, though mainly made up of Sanskrit words, also shows the use of English, Urdu and regional languages. For this, their language is able to present a vibrant picture of environment, nature and character.

Mohan Rakeshji has done this narrative style in stories, novels and travel memoirs. Through simple language, they have also worked to present a real film in this style. He has used emotional style the most in his work. Based on his emotional and poetic qualities, his style was very interesting and popular.


Mohan Rakesh died suddenly in New Delhi on January 3, 1972 at the age of 46.


1. When and where was Mohan Rakesg Guglani born?

Ans: Madan Mohan Guglani was born on 8 January 1925 at Amritsar, Punjab, India.

2. Which Indian author wrote Ashad Ka Ek Din?

Ans: Madan Mohan Rakesh Guglani.

3. Who was the part of the Nai Kahani movement?

Ans: Rajesh was one of the brains behind the Nai Kahani (New Short Story) literary movement of Hindi literature in 1950s.

4. Who is the author of the novel ‘Aandhere Bandh Kamare’?

Ans: Mohan Rakesh is the author of the novel ‘Andhere Bandh Kamare’.

5. When did Mohan Rakesh died?

Ans : Mohan Rakesh died in Delhi on January 3, 1972 at the age of 46.

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