Wednesday, March 13, 2019


VIJAY SURI (1942-2004)... Journalist , Writer, Director and Actor ..

"O pad dhi gid gid ,Dhi Ankessi dhi be dhyaana dhi , Moong Di Daal of the Pakistan and Hindustan of the dhuur phitey munh "

Many actors told me that they had difficulty in remembering these particular lines while they acted as Bishan Singh in the play "Toba Tek Singh "based on Manto's short story .
'Dhuur Phitey Munh' is Manto's style of disagreeing with Two Nation Theory. And in  2018 , BBC listed " Toba Tek Singh " as one among top 100 stories that shaped the world. This list of 100 had stories of Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf , Franz Kafka and many other well known writers the world.

Late Vijay Suri had memorized these lines and would speak them in single breath and in one go. He was a versatile actor , director and writer who left an imprint of his style wherever he worked and whatever he did .

He acted in about 12 Bollywood films ( like Unchi Udaan, Heer Rahnja, Kalka, Bhed Bhaav, Agni, Mitti Mange Khoon etc. ) and Numerous TV serials apart from writing and directing plays/ . He was an approved Radio Artist (AIR) . He wrote short stories and novels in Urdu . For sometime he edited Urdu Newspaper Ujala published from Jammu .

Finally he joined Song And Drama Division and was posted at Srinagar where he served  till his retirement.  In early seventies of the last century ,  when Doordarshan opened a Kendra at Srinagar , he was there  to lend his full support .He remained the most sought after Artist for so many TV serials and  films  produced by Srinagar DDK. He  also became a  Guru  to so many aspiring artists in valley . He also played a key role in reviving Ram leela in Srinagar . His baritone voice created a spell on stage and screen .

 Born in  Mirpur ( Now in Pakistan ) , his family  settled at  Jammu post 1947 . In  1965 ,  he married co-stage actor Ratna Rani Razdan  . Being  married to a kashmiri girl and also living in kashmir  for some decades , Vijay Suri could speak kashmiri with ease . He was fluent in  Dogri , Punjabi , Urdu and English  

           ( Photo source..Dr Kavita Suri )

 About him , noted  Theatre and Art   critic  Lalit Gupta writes :

 “ Vijay Suri was one such talented individual, who fighting against all odds succeeded to leave an indelible mark on the cultural horizon of Jammu and Kashmir from 1950 till time of his death in 2004. A multifaceted personality, he was an accomplished stage, television and film actor, director and writer of repute who along with writing short stories, novels also wrote number of scripts for TV serials and documentaries.”

(With Kader Khan in film Bhed bhaav..Photo source..Kajal Suri)

Syed Zeeshan Fazil  Ex.Senior Executive Doordarshan  writes :

“ Vijay Suri was a versatile actor. I saw him for the first time on the sets of   “ EXTRA NAHIN ”  by D N Goswami for Srinagar  Doordarshan  in 1973.  He also used to participate in our Dogri programs .He did a memorable role in Mir Mushtaq's Tv film WAPSI  produced  in 1976.He also worked in some of the plays done by me at DDK srinagar. In 1989 we visited his house at jammu during the shooting of a serial  “ Dhund Aur Dhoop”  by H K Bharti in which  talented daughter Kajal Suri was doing the  lead role. The crew was nicely  treated by Suri  family and we felt as if we were in our home .He was a professional actor who  never compromised with any situation and always tried to deliver his best. He had a commanding voice and an appealing personality. His untimely death was a great loss.”

Theatre Personality Bansi Raina: 

“ He was actor...a writer and a journalist.  He  married  a Kashmiri girl .I remember when DDK become operational in early seventies we did act in number  of plays together. A great soul and a good friend ...He just could not resist smoking.”


A  four-day Theatre Festival  was organized  by Academy of Art Culture And languages in collaboration with Vijay Suri foundation   in 2016  to commemorate late Vijay Suri and remember his contribution  to Theatre, Television and Cinema .

He was fond good food and  loved kashmiri dishes especially Roganjosh and Yakhni .  And he played a wonderful host to his friends .To his friends , he was always affectionate and helpful.

Peace be to his soul.
(Avtar Mota)

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