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Mohan Rakesh – An Introductory Sketch of the Celebrated Hindi Writer and Critic of 50’s


Mohan Rakesh

Quick Facts

  • Name: Mohan Rakesh
  • Full Name: Madan Mohan Guglani
  • Famous As: Critic and Novelist
  • Nationality: Indian
  • Birth Date: 8 January 1925 (Amritsar)
  • Died On: 3 January 1972 (Delhi)
  • Awards: Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1968)


Mohan Rakesh is not an unfamiliar name. Before independence, there were very few people, who had extraordinary talent. Mohan Rakesh was one of them. The Sangeet Natak Akademi award winner had a blooming career but he bid adieu to the world at an early age.

Although he bid adieu to the world in the year 1972, he is still alive through his famous works. Mohan Rakesh’s plays are still enacted on the stage by famous theatre artists. Let us know more about his journey as a writer and about his search for love.

Hindi Writer and Critic Mohan Rakesh


Mohan Rakesh was a professor at Elphinstone College before he became a writer. He became Head of the Hindi department in Jalandhar’s DAV College. He spent some time in Shimla as well.

He resigned from his job to devote all his time to writing.

Literary Works of the Critic –

Mohan Rakesh wrote several novels and plays. Here is a list of his works –

Plays –

  • Ashadh ka Ek Din (1958)

  • Leheron Ke Raj Hans (1968)

  • Aadhe Adhure (1969)

  • Mohan Rakesh Ke Sampurn Natak (1993)

Novels –

  • Andhere Band Kamre (1961)

  • Na Aane Wala Kal (1968)

  • Antaraal (1972)

  • Bakalama Khuda (1974)

He did two translation works for Sanskrit plays, Shakuntalam and Mrichchkatikam.

Leheron Ke Raj Hans is the most beloved play of Mohan Rakesh. It was originally a short story which turned into a radio play on the famous All India Radio. ‘Uski Roti’ written by Mohan Rakesh was used to make a film.

In the year 1971, he received ‘Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship’ for his project on ‘The Dramatic Word’. He could not complete this as he died at a young age.

His Story

Mohan Rakesh was born as Madan Mohan Guglani in the year 1925 on 8th January. He was just 16 years old when his father left the world. The critic/translator/novelist completed his Master’s degree from Punjab University in Lahore. At that time, the partition had not happened. Pakistan was very much a part of India. He did Master’s in Hindi and English.

In the year 1950, Mohan Rakesh tied the knot with a lady that his family had chosen. The union did not last for long and ended up in divorce after 7 years. He got married the second time but it did not last as well. The author found true love in the year 1963 when he married Anita Aulakh.

Anita was a young and beautiful lady. She was just 21 when she got married to Mohan Rakesh. The couple were together till Mohan’s death. Mohan Rakesh died in the year 1972.

Anita Aulakh continues to live in Delhi. She lives in East of Kailash. Well, Anita remembers how her love story started. He was a famous critic and writer. There was a lot of age difference between the two. She heard about him when she was just 8 years old. Anita would always imagine how he looked in real! Anita found his address in one of his works and she would start writing to him.

Mohan Rakesh with his wife Anita Aulakh

And he found Love

When Anita’s family came to Delhi, they wanted to meet the writer and his second wife, Pushpa. After returning to Gwalior, she did not hear from Mohan Rakesh for a long time. Mohan Rakesh wrote to her after few months and she got to know that he had resigned from his job and separated from his wife. He also mentioned that if she wants to know more about his married life, she should read his story, ‘Ek Aur Zindagi’.

Anita was heartbroken after reading his story. It was about his failed relationships with the women in his life. Anita told Mohan Rakesh to visit her in Gwalior. When the writer arrived, the whole family decorated the home and prepared all types of delicacies. Mohan, Anita and her family went to watch a movie and accidently, their hands would touch.

One day, Anita had pneumonia and Mohan came to visit her. He kissed her and told that he is in love with her. This is how their love story began and they tied the knot. He finally found love! However his love story with Anita was not an easy one. It was filled with a lot of drama. They eventually got married and Anita stayed with him till the end.

Famous and Unforgettable Quotes by Mohan Rakesh

Mohan Rakesh was a well-known critic, whose words were spun beautifully. He would write in Hindi and we would like to share the famous quotes by Mohan Rakesh.

“Jeevan mein mujhe itni kahaniyo ki punji di hai ki saara jeevan likhta rahu to bhi ve sab kahaniyan nahi likhi jayengi. Keval samay ke abhaav ke karan hi nahi, balki isliye bhi ki bohot si kahaniya hai jo hazar chahne par bhi nahi ban paati, ya wesi nahi banti jaisi likhte samay kalpana hoti hai. Isliye yeh apne jeevan se jeevan bhar ki hod hai. Is hod mei main haarna nahi chaahta”

“You have third place in my life; in first place are my writings and in second place are my friends.”
 Mohan said this for Anita. He loved writing and his friends. Anita came into his life at a later stage when all his relationships failed. He did find love but his love for writing came first and he loved spending money on his friends. He was a sensitive man and was clear about his love for writing.

Main kahani kyu likhta hu? Mujhe jeevan ke sambandh mei apni pratikriyaon ko likhkar vyarth karna swabhavik lagta hai.”

The writer writes because he wants to know why he writes. According to Mohan Rakesh, a writer writes when he has an inspiration or a story to tell. Some writers do not have any inspiration. ‘Main Kyun Likhta Hu’ is a famous work by Mohan Rakesh. You may remember this extract from a 10th or 12th grade Hindi book.

Have you ever tried to think that a writer could have a story too? Mohan Rakesh had two failed relationships and he went through lots of ups and downs in life. What was his reason to write? Was he trying to find himself? Was he drowned in sadness? He inspired many aspiring writers and his work continues to act like a soup for the soul. It touches the readers and makes them think! Mohan Rakesh was a rare talent and the country would forever remember him because his works are still used in books and plays.


Written By: Anshu Choudhary


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