K.A. Abbas's Writings and Films

in Bibliography
Published on: 18 October 2017

Ruth Zothanpuii

Ruth Zothanpuii is a student of literature and a filmmaker by passion from Aizawl, Mizoram. She is an Honorary Fellow at the K.A. Abbas Memorial Trust since its inception in 2013 and its web content developer. She has a Master’s from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. She has also been consultant and secretary to the member, Planning Commission, where she worked with the social sector from 2006 to 2014.

In the 73 years that Khwaja Ahmad Abbas lived, he wrote more than 74 books and innumerable short stories; as a journalist he produced the longest running column in the history of journalism. Besides screenplays and dialogues for popular films, he also wrote plays. However, there is no available record or documentation of all his writings. The Bibliography below is not exhaustive. It has been compiled by going to several sources, including family, friends and the Internet. Our endeavor to put together a complete list of Abbas’s works is ongoing, and we hope to update the Bibliography as and when that task is done.



Books (in chronological order)

Abbas, Khwaja Ahmad. 1939. Outside India: The Adventures of a Roving Reporter. Delhi: Hali Publishing House.


———. 1943. An Indian Looks at America. Bombay: Thacker.


———. 1943. Tomorrow is Ours: A Novel of the India of Today. Bombay: Popular Book Depot.


———. 1943. Let India Fight for Freedom. Bombay: Sound Magazine.


———. 1944. Defeat for Death:A Story Without Names. Baroda: Padmaja Publications.


———. 1944. And One Did Not Come Back. Bombay: Sound Magazine. 

(V. Shantaram based his film Dr. Kotnis ki Amar Kahani on this novel).


Abbas, Khwaja Ahmad, and N.C. Jog. 1944.  A Report to Gandhiji: A Survey of Indian and World Events during the 21 months of Gandhiji's Incarceration. Bombay: Hind Kitabs.


Abbas, Khwaja Ahmad. 1945. Not all Lies. Delhi: Rajkamal Publications.


———. 1947. Blood and Stones. Bombay: Hind Kitabs.


———. 1947. Rice and Other Stories. Bombay: Kutub.


———. 1948. Kashmir Fights for Freedom. Bombay: Kutub.


———. 1948. I Write as I Feel. Bombay: Hind Kitabs.

(Selection from the 'Last Page' of the Bombay Chronicle, 1941–47).


———. 1952. Cages of Freedom and Other Stories. Bombay: Hind Kitabs.


———. 1952. China Can Make It: Eyewitness Account of the Amazing Industrial Progress in New China. Bombay: People's Publishing House.


———. 1953. Adha Insaan. Allahabad: Neelabh Prakashan Griha.


———. 1953. In the Image of Mao Tse-Tung. Bombay: People’s Publishing House.


———. 1957. One Thousand Nights on a Bed of Stones and Other Stories. Bombay: Jaico Publishing House.

 (The Russian rendition is called Tysacha Nachyana Kamennem. The film Shehar Aur Sapna was based on this story and won the President’s Gold Medal for Best Picture in 1963).


———. 1958. Inqilab. Bombay: Jaico Publishing House.

 (A prequel to The World is My Village. The Hindi translation of Inqilab was by Munish Narain Saxena. Its Russian translation Sein Indie (Son of India) sold 90,000 copies in USSR and 50,000 in Ukraine. It was also translated into German, Uzbek, Azerbaijani, Czech, and Kazakh).


Abbas, Khwaja Ahmad, and Sahir Ludhianvi. 1958. Shadow Speaks. Bombay: P.P.H. Bookstall.


Abbas, Khwaja Ahmad. 1959. Char Dil Char Rahen.

(K.A. Abbas wrote this book based on his film of the same name, which had three big stars of the era, Shammi Kapoor, Raj Kapoor and Meena Kumari).


———. 1959. Diya Jale Sari Raat.


———. 1960. Face to Face with Khrushchev. Delhi: Rajpal and Sons.


———. 1961.Till We Reach the Stars: The Story of Yuri Gagarin. London: Asia Publications House.


———. 1962. Ajanta.


———. 1963. The Black Sun and Other Stories. Bombay: Jaico Publishing House.


———. 1965. Bambai Raat ki Bahon Mein. New Delhi: Radhakrishṇa Prakashan.

(The 1968 film of the same name was based on this novel. The film won the National Film Award for Best Cinematography).


———. 1966. Indira Gandhi: Return of the Red Rose. New Delhi: Hind Pocket Books.

 (The book is a prequel toThat Woman: Her Seven Years in Power).


———. 1968. Divided Heart. New Delhi: New Light Publishers.


———. 1968. When Night Falls. Delhi: Hind Pocket Books.


———. 1968. Chabili. Allahabad: Mitra Prakashan.


———. 1968. The Most Beautiful Woman in the World. New Delhi: Paradise Publications.


———. 1969. Salma aur Samundar. New Delhi: Komala Pocket Books.


———. 1970. Mera Naam Joker. Delhi: Hind Pocket Books.

 (Raj Kapoor’s film Mera Naam Joker was based on this novel).


———. 1971. Maria. New Delhi: Hind Pocket Books.


———. 1971. Teen Pahiye. Delhi: Rajpal& Sons.


———. 1973. Bobby. New Delhi: Sterling Publishers.

 (Raj Kapoor’s film Bobby was based on this novel).


———. 1973. Boy Meets Girl. New Delhi: Sterling Publishers.


———. 1973. That Woman: Indira Gandhi’s Seven Years in Power. New Delhi: Indian Book Company.

 (A sequel to Indira Gandhi: Return of the Red Rose).


Abbas, Khwaja Ahmad, and R. K. Karanjia. 1974. Face to Face with Indira Gandhi. New Delhi: Chetna Publications.


———. 1974. Jawaharlal Nehru: Portrait of an Integrated Indian. New Delhi: The National Council of Educational Research and Training.


Abbas, Khwaja Ahmad. 1974. Faslah. Delhi: Hind Pocket Books.

 (It was made into a film the same year. It was also Shabana Azmi’s first film as a leading lady).


———. 1975. Indira Gandhi: Safalta ke Varsh. New Delhi: Rajpal & Sons.


———. 1975. Distant Dreams. New Delhi: Sterling Publication.


———. 1977. The Walls of Glass: A Novel. New Delhi: Himalaya Books.


———. 1977. Men and Women: Specially Selected Long and Short Stories. New Delhi: N. V. Publications.


———. 1977. Mad, Mad, Mad World of Indian Films. New Delhi: Hind Pocket Books.


———. 1977. I Am Not an Island: An Experiment in Autobiography. New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House.


———. 1977. Four Friends. New Delhi: Arnold Heinemann.


———. 1977. How Films are Made. New Delhi: National Book Trust.


———. 1978. Janata in a Jam. Bombay: Jaico Publishing House.


———. 1978. 20 March 1977: A Day Like Any Other Day. New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House.


———. 1979. The Naxalites. Delhi: Lok Publications.

(In 1980, Abbas made this novel into a film starring Mithun Chakraborty, Jalal Agha and Smita Patil).


———. 1980. Sarojini Naidu. Bombay: Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan.


———. 1982. Bread, Beauty, and Revolution: Being a Chronological Selection from The Last Pages, 1947 to 1981. New Delhi: Marwah Publications.


———. 1982. Neeli Sari aur Doosri Kahaniyan. New Delhi: Maktaba Jamia.


———. 1984. The World is My Village. Delhi: Ajanta Publications.

(A sequel to his epic novel Inqilab).


———. 1985. The Gun and other Stories. New Delhi: Arnold-Heinemann.


———. 1986. Indira Gandhi: The Last Post. Bombay: Popular Prakashan.


———. 1987. Bombay, my Bombay: The Love Story of the City. Delhi: Ajanta Publications.


———. 1987. The Thirteenth Victim. Delhi: Amar Prakashan.

(The film Achanak by Gulzar is based on this novel).


———. I Cannot Die: A Story of Bengal. New Delhi: Kutub (Translation of Krishan Chander’s story).


———. 1976 or 1977. Sheeshe ki Deewar. New Delhi: Bisween Sadi Books.


———. 1969. Saat Hindustani. Delhi: Hind Pocket Books.

(The film of the same name directed by K. A. Abbas won two National Film Awards: Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration and National Film Award for Best Lyrics for Kaifi Azmi. Amitabh Bachchan made his debut with this film).


———. 1973. Do Boond Pani. Delhi: Hind Pocket Books.

(K.A. Abbas’s film of the same name was based on this novel. It received the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration).


———. 1986. Soney Chandi ke Buth. Bombay: Classics International.


Kohli, Suresh, ed. 2010. K. A. Abbas: I am Not an Island: An Experiment in Autobiography. Gurgaon: ImprintOne.


———. 2011. An Evening in Lucknow: Selected Stories: K. A. Abbas. New Delhi: HarperCollins.


———. 2013. K.A. Abbas: Bobby: The Complete Story. New Delhi: HarperCollins.


———. 2014. Sardarji and Other Stories of Khwaja Ahmad Abbas. New Delhi: Om Books International.


———. 2014. Khwaja Ahmad Abbas: Mera Naam Joker: The Complete Story. New Delhi: HarperCollins.


———. 2014. Khwaja Ahmad Abbas: An Evening in Paris and Other Stories. Noida: Om Books International.


———. 2015. An Evening in Calcutta: Selected Stories of K. A. Abbas. New Delhi: HarperCollins.


Hameed, Syeda Saiyidain, and Iffat Fatima, eds. 2015. Bread Beauty Revolution: Khwaja Ahmad Abbas 1914–1987. New Delhi: Khwaja Ahmed Abbas Memorial Trust and Tulika Books.


Kohli, Suresh, ed. 2015. The Naxalites: A Novel: K A. Abbas. New Delhi: Niyogi Books.


Hameed, Syeda, trans. 2016. Khwaja Ahmad Abbas: Five Faces of Mother India. New Delhi: Pratham Books.


Abbas, Khwaja Ahmad. Duniya Bhar ka Kachra.


———. Khoon ka Rishta.



Short stories (Urdu/ Hindi)


Khwaja Ahmad Abbas wrote innumerable short stories. It is important to remember that his work flows in all three languages: Urdu, Hindi and English. He translated his own writings freely from one language to another. It is unclear whether he first wrote the story in Urdu or Hindi or English. His short stories have been published in a number of collections beginning with Blood and Stones and Other Stories in 1947.


1. 'Aaina Khane Main'

2. 'Aajke Laila Majnu'

3. 'Aasmani Talwar'

4. 'Ababeel' (the English translation ‘Sparrows’ was included in a West German anthology of the world's best stories).

5. 'Achchan ka Aashiq'

6. 'Ajanta'

7. 'Alif Laila: Footpath par 1001 Ratein'

8. 'Bachpan, Jawani, Buddhapa'

9. 'Bachchon ka Khat Mahatma Gandhi ke Naam'

10. 'Banaras ka Thug'

11. 'Bara Ghantay'

12. 'Bharat Mata Ke Panch Roop'

13. 'Bholi'

14. 'Bhookh'

15. 'Bisween Sadi ke Laila Majnoon'

16. 'Calcutta ki Ek Shaam'

17. 'Captain Rafiq ki Maut'

18. 'Captain Salmah'

19. 'Chattan aur Sapna'

20. 'Chiragh Tale Andhera'

21. 'Chocolate aur Samay'

22. 'Do Boond Pani'

23. 'Do Chehre'

24. 'Do Haath'

25. 'Dil Hi to Hai'

26. 'Diwali ke Teen Diye'

27. 'Diya Jale Saari Raat'

28. 'Drama Ek Khooni Tyre ka'

29. 'Ek aur Prem Kahani'

30. 'Ek Purana Tub aur Duniya Bhar ka Kachra'

31. 'Ek Bachche ke Gadilne ki Kahani'

32. 'Ek Ladki Saat Diwane'

33. 'Ek Kahani ka Sawal Hai'

34. 'Gehoon aur Gulab'

35. 'Hanuman Ji ka Haath'

36. 'Kaanch ki Deewarein'

37. 'Kehte Hain Jisko Ishq'

38. 'Khazana'

39. 'Khooni Tub'

40. 'Kissa Ek Jale Huey Stove ka, Scenario film ke 13 Khaali Dibbon ka'

41. 'Kuchchi-Kuchchi'

42. 'Lal aur Peela'

43. 'Lucknow ki Ek Shaam'

44. 'Ma ka Dil'

45. 'Mein Kaun Hoon'

46. 'Mera Beta Mera Dushman'

47. 'Mera Kehna Hai ki'

48. 'Meri Fan'

49. 'Meri Maut' (based on a real life incident, it was rendered into English by the late Khushwant Singh as ‘The Death of Sheikh Burhanuddin’. The Urdu version was titled ‘Sardarji’).

50. 'Mohammad Ali'

51. 'Mojeza'

52. 'Montage'

53. 'Musafir ki Diary'

54. 'Nai Barsaat'

55. 'Nai Dharti Naye Insaan'

56. 'Nanga Fakir' (made into a short film in 1984).

57. 'Naya Inteqaam'

58. 'Naya Shivala'

59. 'Neeli Sari'

60. 'Paani ki Phansi'

61. 'Paaon Mein Phool'

62. 'Panchhi, Pinjra aur Udaan'

63. 'Paris ki ek Shaam'

64. 'Pathar ki Sej par Hazar Ratein'

65. 'Pinjra'

66. 'Rupaiya Ana Pai'

67. 'Sabz Motor Car' (the English rendition ‘The Green Motor Car’ is included in An Evening in Lucknow: Selected Stories of K. A. Abbas, ed. Suresh Kohli)

68. 'Sardi Garmi'

69. 'Sarkashi'

70. 'Sheeshe ki Diwar'

71. 'Shukr Allah Ka'

72. 'Sone ki Chaar Chooriyaan'

73. 'Sparsh'

74. 'Suhaag Raat'

75. 'Teen Auraten'

76. 'Teen Bhangi'

77. 'Teen Maaein Ek Bachcha'

78. 'Teen Tasveerein'

79. 'Teesra Darya'

80. 'Terelene ki Patloon'

81. 'Tiddi'

82. 'Udaas Deewarein'

83. 'Vapsika Ticket'

84. 'Yeh Bhi Taj Mahal Hai'

85. 'Zafran ke Phool'


Short Stories (English)


1. 'Ajanta'

2. 'An Evening in Calcutta'

3. 'An Evening in Lucknow'

4. 'An Evening in Paris'

5. 'Blood and Stones'

6. 'Cages of Freedom'

7. 'Cartoon'

8. 'Dead Letter'

9. 'Five Faces of Mother India'

10. 'Flowers for Her Feet'

11. 'Half a Man'

12. 'Hello Miss Malti'

13. 'I Cannot Die: A Story of Bengal' (translation of Krishan Chander’s story ‘Kutub’)

14. 'June in December'

15. 'Men and Women'

16. 'Mother and Child' (on the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, it may be referred to as K.A. Abbas’s last short story and was published in The Illustrated Weekly of India in June 1987 after his death).

17. 'Mussolini'

18. 'Mussourie 1953 with Apologies to Qurratulain'

19. 'Reflection in a Mirror'

20. 'Revenge'

21. 'Revolt'

22. 'Rice'

23. 'Saffron Blossoms'

24. 'Saturday Night Fever'

25. 'Sylvia'

26. 'The Black Sun'

27. 'The Boy who moved a Mountain'

28. 'The Death of Sheikh Burhruddin' 

29. 'The Dumb Cow'

30. 'The Flag'

31. 'The Fraud of Film Festivals'

32.  'The Green Motor Car'

33.  'The Madness of Man'

34.  'The Maharaja’s Elephant' (the Russian film, The Black Mountain, was based on this story).

35. 'The Man who did not want to Remember'

36. 'The Mark of an Indian'

37. 'The Miracle of Prajapur'

38. 'The Most Beautiful Woman in the World'

39. 'The Naked Fakir' (made into a short film)

40. 'The New Revenge'

41. 'The New Temple'

42. 'The Physiotherapist'

43. 'The Prince and the Showgirl'

44. 'The Refugee'          

45. 'The Rock and the Dream'

46. 'The Sparrows' (translation of the Urdu 'Ababeel' listed above, and included in a West German anthology of the world's best stories)

47. 'The Sword of Shiva'

48. 'The Thirteenth Victim'

49. 'Three Women'

50. 'The Umbrella'        

51.  'Thicker Than Water'

52.  'One Thousand Nights on a bed of Stones'

53. 'Wheat and Roses'            




Abbas, Khwaja Ahmad. 1944. Yeh Amrit Hai (Invitation to Immortality: A One-Act Play). Bombay: Padma Publications.


———. 1944.  Zubaida.

(The play was written for Indian People’s Theatre Association and Balraj Sahni directed it).


Abbas. Khwaja Ahmad and Pragji Dossa. 1977. Barrister-at-Law: A Play about the Early Life of Mahatma Gandhi. New Delhi: Orient Paperbacks.





1. Naya Sansar, 1941

Story, Screenplay

Bengal Film Journalists' Association Award for the best story and screenplay.


2. Panna, 1944



​3. Neecha Nagar, 1946


Palme d’Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival 1946


4. Dharti ke Lal, 1946

Story, Screenplay, Director, Producer


5. Aadhi Raat



6. Naaz



​7. Dr Kotnis ki Amar Kahani, 1946

Story, Screenplay


8. Actress, 1948



​9. Awara, 1951

Story, Screenplay, Dialogue


10. Anhonee, 1952

Story, Dialogue, Director, Producer


11. Rahi, 1953

Screenplay, Director, Producer


12. Munna, 1954

Story, Director, Producer


13. Sheeshi ki Deewar, 1954



​14. Shree 420, 1955

Story, Screenplay, Dialogue


15. Jagte Raho, 1956



​16. Pardesi, 1957

Story, Director, Producer (Co-production – Mosfilms, Moscow)

Nominated for Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival 1957


17. Char Dil Char Rahen, 1959

Story, Director, Producer


18. Eid Mubarak, 1960


All India Certificate of Merit for the Second Best Children’s Film 1960


19. Gyarah Hazaar Ladkiyan, 1962

Screenplay, Director


20. Shehar aur Sapna, 1964

Screenplay, Director, Producer

National Film Award for Best Feature Film


21. Hamara Ghar, 1964

Screenplay, Director, Producer

International Film Festival Awards (Santa Barbara, USA)


22. Aasman Mahal, 1966

Story, Director, Producer


23. Bambai Raat ki Bahon Mein, 1967

Story, Director, Producer


24. Saat Hindustani, 1970

Story, Screenplay, Director, Producer

National Film Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration

Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration


25. Mera Naam Joker, 1970

Story, Screenplay


26. Do Boond Pani, 1972

Story, Screenplay, Director, Producer

National Film Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration

Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration


27. Lav Kush, 1972



​28. Bobby, 1973

Story, Screenplay


29. Achanak, 1973



30. Faslah, 1974

Story, Screenplay, Director, Co-Producer


31. The Naxalites, 1980

Director, Producer

Gold Medal for Direction


32. Love in Goa, 1983



​33. Mr X in Bombay, 1987

Screenplay, Director


34. Ek Aadmi, 1988

Story, Director, Producer


35. Akanksha, 1989

Screenplay, Dialogue


36. Henna, 1991​



Documentary Films


  1. Gir Game Sanctuary, 1961
  2. Flight to Assam, 1961
  3. Tomorrow shall be Better, 1965
  4. Dharti ki Pukaar, 1967
  5. Char Shahar Ek Kahani (A Tale of Four Cities), 1968
  6. Bharat Darshan (Glimpses of India), 1972




  1. Papa Miya of Aligarh, 1975
  2. Phir Bolo Aaye Sant Kabir, 1976
  3. Dr Iqbal, 1978
  4. Hindustan Hamara, 1983
  5. Nanga Fakir, 1984