Abid Surti

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Aabid Surti
Native name આબિદ સુરતી
Born (1935-05-05) 5 May 1935 (age 82)
Vavera near Rajula, Gujarat
Residence Mumbai
Nationality Indian
Citizenship Indian
Education Diploma in Arts
Alma mater J. J. School of Art
Occupation Author, cartoonist, painter, environmentalist
Notable work Teesri Aankh(1993), The Black Book, In Name of Rama
Spouse(s) Masooma Begum
Children 2 sons
Parent(s) Gulam-hussain and Sakina Begum
Awards National Award 1993, Hindi Sahitya Sanstha Award, Gujarat Gaurav
Website www.aabidsurti.in

Abid Surti or Aabid Surti (Hindi: आबिद सुरती; Gujarati: આબિદ સુરતી; born 5 May 1935) is a National Award-winning Indian author who has earned accolades within India and abroad as a painter, author, cartoonist, journalist, environmentalist, playwright and screenwriter besides being a "one-man" NGO out to save every drop of water.[2][3][4][5] He was given a National Award by the government of India in 1993 for one of his books.[6]


Surti has written short stories, novels, plays, children's books and travelogues. Several of his books have been translated into regional languages. He has also been writing for Hindi and Gujarati newspapers and magazines for over 40 years and received a National Award for his short-story collection Teesri Aankh in 1993.[2] He became an author by accident. When his first love broke down due to family pressure, the teenaged Aabid had no one to confide in – so he began putting his story on paper. The story was published in Gujarati in 1965 as Tootela Farishta (Fallen angels) and proved to be an unexpected success.[7][8]

He has written more than 80 books, including 45 novels, 10 short story collections and 7 plays.[7][9][10]

The autobiographical novel Musalman was an account of his childhood in the poverty-ridden Dongri area of Mumbai.[7] His latest novel, Sufi, describes the parallel lives of two friends: the author himself and a man called Iqbal Rupani, who rose to become the kingpin of the Mumbai underworld in the 1960s and 1970s.[11] In 1975, his fictional version based on the Devil's Bible, entitled The Black Book, created a nationwide controversy. Even amidst critical acclaim, it was translated into seven languages and voted Book of the Year in Kannada.[7][8] He earned the nickname the "Salman Rushdie of India" after his Black Book was published.[2] He has together with his son Aalif Surti and Chandrika Vyas, Rima Kashyap also penned a controversial and hard-hitting novel called In Name of Rama inspired by a true incident during the demolition of the Babri Masjid.[12]

In 2007, he was awarded the Hindi Sahitya Sanstha Award by the Uttar Pradesh government, and was given an award by the Gujarat government for his children's literary work Rangat. Among his other novels are Canal and Daagh. He has also worked as a television and film script-writer. He was the editor of the Gujarati annual magazine Dayaro for many years.[8]

Recently, he has sued the makers of the Bollywood film Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge, which he says used his Gujarati novel Bauter Varas No Babo, published in 1976 and later translated into Hindi as Bahatar Saal Ka Baccha.[13][14]

He has written graphic children's novels in Hindi, including Buddh kyun muskuraye 2500 saal baad (Why did the Buddha smile after 2500 years).[15] He has also written satirical gazal with common English words.[16]



  • Tootela Farishta
  • Dhutro
  • Aabh ma khilelu phool
  • Kapurush Mahapurush
  • Pagle Pagle Pyar
  • Soofi
  • Kundali
  • Fokatlalno Varghodo
  • Eka jhalaka Japan ni
  • Adhura anek
  • Vasant avyano mane vahem
  • Nana Nana Rakshash
  • Athmo akash
  • Kala gulab
  • Pāpana pārano pradeṡa
  • Ram asrey
  • Rang badalti roma
  • Radata gulmahar
  • Boter varasno babo
  • Mari shreshth vartao
  • Alag Matina Marad
  • Baraf na chahera
  • Ek zalak Japan ni
  • Dagh
  • Sukhano relo same par
  • Jaladī kara, Juliyata
  • Musalman

Hindi Collections

  • 10 Pratinidhi Kahaniyan
  • 21 Shreshtha Kahaniyan
  • 365 Kahaniyan (collection of stories of the well-known author)


  • Kathavachak
  • Adhi Stri
  • Bahata Paani
  • Bahattar Saal Ka Bachcha
  • Besabab
  • Biswin Sadi Ka Akhiri Dashak
  • Aadmi aur Chuhe
  • Chamatkari Ladaki
  • Caibre Dancer
  • Charitraheen
  • Daag
  • Dastoor
  • Kale Gulab
  • Kapurush Mahapurush
  • Khoya Hua Chehra
  • Kokh Se Kabra Tak Sati
  • Kora Canvas
  • Labangi
  • Maan
  • Mere Papa Ki Shadi
  • Soonsaan
  • Tanha
  • Vasak Sajja


  • Atankit
  • Bijliyan
  • Dhup Chhaon
  • Gujrati Ki Shreshtha Vyangya Kathaen
  • Teesri Aankh


  • Awara Abid


  • 365 Chutkule (selection of jokes)
  • Bundabandi


  • Munchon Wali Begam



  • The Black Book
  • In name of Rama
  • The Golf Widow


  • He is Radha


Surti has been acclaimed as a painter, who has been credited to have used creative and original techniques to paint with oil and water colours. His using of acrylic colours applied to Italian art paper are also said to be indeed out of this world.[17] An accomplished painter, he has held 16 exhibitions in India and abroad. In his early years, he invented an innovative technique called "mirror collage" which won critical acclaim in Japan. In 1971, the Indian government commissioned a short film to showcase his creative work.[18][19][20]

Cartoons and comic-books[edit]

The first cartoon characters he created were in 1952–53 for a Gujarati magazine Ramakadu. It consisted of a comic feature of four pages in colour with three prominent characters – a boy, a girl and a monkey, entitled Rang Lakhudi.[15] As a cartoonist, he later created the lovable simpleton Dhabbuji. The highly original and popular cartoon strip has been one of the longest-running comic strips in India, running without a break for over 30 years. It was the weekly comic strip that first appeared in famous Hindi magazine Dharmyug.[15][18][21] He also created another popular comic book character, Bahadur,[2][15][18] which achieved a large fan following, when the comics started to be published in Indrajal Comics from 1978.[22] He also created other comic book characters like Inspector Azad,[23] Inspector Vikram and a lady character named Shuja.[24][25][26] The cartoon Dhabbuji and comics of Bahadur, Inspector Azad, Inspector Vikram and Shuja were all also published in English. Raj Kapoor once wanted to make a film based on Inspector Azad, such was the popularity of his comic strips.[27] Further, his famous comic strips Doctor Chinchoo Ke Chamatkar, which was published in the Hindi magazine Parag from 1963 to 1965 is being serialised by the National Book Trust as Doctor Chinchoo Ke Kaarnamein.[28]

Personal life and family[edit]

Abid Surti was born in a Muslim family on 5 May 1935 at Vavera near Rajula city, Gujarat, India to Gulam-hussain and Sakina Begum.[8] In his childhood at age of 5, he almost got carried away by flood in Tapti river near Surat.[8] The family later shifted to Bombay and he spent his childhood in Dongri area of Mumbai. His father was follower of Sufism[22] His mother tongue is, however, Gujarati, as his parents belonged to Surat city of Gujarat, India or to say he is a Gujarati Muslim. That is presumably why he uses Surati as his pseudonym and surname. He joined the J. J. School of Art in 1954 and obtained a Diploma in Arts. He was greatly influenced by the writings of 20th-century Bengali novelist, Shard Babu.[8] Besides being a writer in Hindi and Gujarati, he is also an expert in Urdu.[8] He started his career as a free-lancer. In 1965, married Masooma Begum; they have two sons from this marriage. The director named Pramod Peti has made a documentary on the life of Abid Surti.[8][29]


  1. ^ "Sufi author Aabid Surti's underworld calling – Lifestyle – DNA". Dnaindia.com. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Abid Surti Video | Interviews". Ovguide.com. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "Abid Surti". Harmonyindia.org. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "स्ट्रिंगर भी कूदे यशवंत की गिरफ्तारी के विरोध में, फेसबुक पर लगाई काली पट्टी" [Yashwant jumped in to protest the arrest of Stringer, put the black bar on Facebook] (in Hindi). bhadas4media.com. Retrieved 25 August 2013. (registration required)
  6. ^ Aabid Surti
  7. ^ a b c d "aabidsurti.com". Aabidsurti.in. Archived from the original on 27 July 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Abid Surti an Introduction ( Gujarati )
  9. ^ [2] List of some works of Abid Surti.
  10. ^ Hindi Books – Abid Surti
  11. ^ Sufi author Aabid Surti's underworld calling
  12. ^ In name of Rama
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-05.  Writer Aabid Surti sues makers of Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge, 7 May 2010.
  14. ^ [3] Similarities between Surti's novel and the film.
  15. ^ a b c d "India Ink: Interview With Aabid Surti – Creator Of Bahadur – Bleeding Cool Comic Book, Movies and TV News and Rumors". Bleedingcool.com. 30 December 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  16. ^ Jyoti Vyas, Aabid Surti – Author of The Black Book Archived 3 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine., "Aabid has penned over eighty books, covering different literary forms – from travelogue to novel, fictionalized autobiography, satirical Ghazal with common English words, fiction based on reality (Katha Vachak is fictionalized novelette in the back drop of demolition of Babri Masjid) – but his boldest and most controversial book is undoubtedly The Black Book. It is not only revolutionary in form and content but also a fresh vision of the World's major religions."
  17. ^ "aabidsurti.com". Aabidsurti.in. Archived from the original on 27 July 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  18. ^ a b c "aabidsurti.com". Aabidsurti.in. Archived from the original on 27 July 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  19. ^ Name of some Hindi Novels written by Abid Surti
  20. ^ Name of some Gujarati books written by Abid Surti
  21. ^ Dhhabuji @ Dharmayug
  22. ^ a b Indian Comics Legend Mr. Abid Surti Excerpts from personal interview published in Hindi magazine AHA ZINDGI
  23. ^ First it was the article in The Times of India, and then Toonfactory mentioned this fact in his post on Mr. Abid Surti that Inspector Azad was such a popular Indian comic character during seventies that a few filmmakers (including Mr. Raj Kapoor) had planned to make a film based on this character. The project couldn't be realized due to some reason but that gives enough idea of the popularity of the character.
  24. ^ "aabidsurti.com". Aabidsurti.in. Archived from the original on 4 January 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  25. ^ Shuja Comics were written by Mr. Abid Surti of Dabbuji fame (or should I say Bahadur fame). He also created Inspector Azad.
  26. ^ Inspector Azad, Inspector Vikram
  27. ^ Another such hero was Inspector Azad, created by Surti along with illustrators Ram Mohan and Pratap Mullick. In fact, Azad's popularity during those times was such that Raj Kapoor wanted to make a film on him, recalls Surti. "We worked on the script for one and a half years. Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna and Mumtaz were to play the lead roles, he says. However, the project got shelved since after the success of Bobby Raj Kapoor did not want to take on an action movie. Abid Surti, who created the saffron kurta-clad crime-fighter Bahadur, says that even now — some two decades after the comic series stopped publishing — he gets fan mail. "Recently, a comic book club in the US wrote to me that old Bahadur comics were fetching as much as $100 since they had become collector's items." Times of India, 30 March 2008. Desi comic heroes still cast a spell
  28. ^ Doctor Chinchoo Ke Chamatkar
  29. ^ Thoughts of Abid Surti from his thanksgiving lecture on 28 May 2010, where he was honoured and a special issue on him was released in Hindi.