Playwright, Activist, Author, Screenwriter
Farrukh Dhondy is an Indian-born British writer, playwright, screenwriter and left-wing activist of Parsi descent who resides in the United Kingdom. He is well-known not only for his writing but also for his film and TV work. Dhondy’s literary output is vast, including books for children, textbooks and biographies, as well as plays for theatre and scripts film and television. He is also a columnist, a biographer (of C. L. R. James, 2001) and media executive, having been a Commissioning Editor at Channel Four from 1984 to 1997. He wrote the comedy series Tandoori Nights (1985-1987) for the channel, which concerned the rivalry of two curry house owners. His children’s stories include KBW (Keep Britain White), a study of a young white boy’s response to anti-Bengali racism. In 2011, Dhondy published his translation of selections from the Sufi poet Jalaluddin Rumi, Rumi: A New Translation. He also wrote the screenplay for the Bollywood historical blockbuster Mangal Pandey, starring Aamir Khan and Toby Stephens. In 2012, he scripted a short film called The K File, a fictional take on the judgement of Ajmal Kasab, directed by Oorvazi Irani. In 2013, his critically acclaimed play Devdas was premièred in London and was subsequently replayed globally. 2013 also saw the publication of the novel Prophet of Love (HarperCollins). His collection of Rumi translations was published in 2014 and received a 4.5-star rating on Goodreads. In 2015, Dhondy interviewed his close friend V. S. Naipaul in India and in London as part of the Jaipur Literature Festival and his publishers produced a collection of his works in an anthology.