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Aabid Surti

Mumbai, India 0 Followers

About Artist

Aabid Surti has won critical acclaim for multiple creative talents. The list of his creative accomplishments befits half a dozen people rather than one individual.

As 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. He has also experimented with many other techniques including acrylic casting (transparent paintings), body painting and stained glass art. The uniqueness of Aabid Surti’s style of painting is that he does not have one. In 1971, the Indian government commissioned a short film to showcase his creative work. He lives in a quiet suburb of Mumbai and continues to explore painting, writing and meditation.

As an National Award-winning author his output of more than 80 books, including 45 novels, 10 short story collections and 7 plays has been prolific, his oeuvre spanning fiction as well as non-fiction, travelogue as well as children’s literature. He has written around 80 books till date, which have been translated into almost every Indian language. In 1975, his fictional version of the Devil’s Bible titled ‘The Black Book’ created a nationwide controversy, even amidst critical acclaim. It was translated into 7 languages and voted ‘The Book of the Year’ in Kannada. A collection of his short stories, titled ‘Teesri Aankh’, won the President’s Award in 1993. Aabid is also an accomplished playwright. ‘He is Radha,’ a comedy about a boy trapped in a woman’s body, has had more than 50 successful performances in India. He has also written more than half a dozen other plays, most of which have been translated onto stage in Hindi and Gujarati. As a screenwriter he has been associated with directors like Raj Khosla and Raj Kapoor on film projects and as a playwright, he has penned seven plays.


As a cartoonist, he created the lovable simpleton ‘Dabbuji’. 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. Reprints of the original series continue to entertain millions in various languages. Dabbuji’s fan following includes Ex Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, singer Asha Bhosle and Osho who often recounted Dabbuji jokes during his early Hindi discourses. It was one of the longest running Indian comic strips, enjoying an unbroken run for more than 30 years in the Hindi literary weekly “Dharmayug”. At times, the popularity of this comic character often eclipsed Aabid’s fame as a serious painter and author! Another comic book character created by Aabid, which enjoyed a huge popularity was Bahadur. Bahadur was the son of a bandit who helped the dacoit-ridden villages to set up their own self-defence system. Bahadur is currently under negotiation for a full-length Bollywood feature film.

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  • About Artist

    Aabid Surti has won critical acclaim for multiple creative talents. The list of his creative accomplishments befits half a dozen people rather than one individual.

    As 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. He has also experimented with many other techniques including acrylic casting (transparent paintings), body painting and stained glass art. The uniqueness of Aabid Surti’s style of painting is that he does not have one. In 1971, the Indian government commissioned a short film to showcase his creative work. He lives in a quiet suburb of Mumbai and continues to explore painting, writing and meditation.

    As an National Award-winning author his output of more than 80 books, including 45 novels, 10 short story collections and 7 plays has been prolific, his oeuvre spanning fiction as well as non-fiction, travelogue as well as children’s literature. He has written around 80 books till date, which have been translated into almost every Indian language. In 1975, his fictional version of the Devil’s Bible titled ‘The Black Book’ created a nationwide controversy, even amidst critical acclaim. It was translated into 7 languages and voted ‘The Book of the Year’ in Kannada. A collection of his short stories, titled ‘Teesri Aankh’, won the President’s Award in 1993. Aabid is also an accomplished playwright. ‘He is Radha,’ a comedy about a boy trapped in a woman’s body, has had more than 50 successful performances in India. He has also written more than half a dozen other plays, most of which have been translated onto stage in Hindi and Gujarati. As a screenwriter he has been associated with directors like Raj Khosla and Raj Kapoor on film projects and as a playwright, he has penned seven plays.


    As a cartoonist, he created the lovable simpleton ‘Dabbuji’. 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. Reprints of the original series continue to entertain millions in various languages. Dabbuji’s fan following includes Ex Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, singer Asha Bhosle and Osho who often recounted Dabbuji jokes during his early Hindi discourses. It was one of the longest running Indian comic strips, enjoying an unbroken run for more than 30 years in the Hindi literary weekly “Dharmayug”. At times, the popularity of this comic character often eclipsed Aabid’s fame as a serious painter and author! Another comic book character created by Aabid, which enjoyed a huge popularity was Bahadur. Bahadur was the son of a bandit who helped the dacoit-ridden villages to set up their own self-defence system. Bahadur is currently under negotiation for a full-length Bollywood feature film.

  • Academics

    J.J. School of Arts, Fine Arts
    Class of 1960 - Mumbai

    Habib High School
    Class of 1954 - Mumbai

  • Exhibitions

    1958: 1st one-man show of paintings at Nainital (Boathouse Club). The work contained the studies of Kumao Valley, mostly landscapes and sketches.

    1959: 2nd one-man show of paintings at Alliance Francaise Gallery (Bombay). The work contained the studies of Khajuraho Temples in line and colour.

    1961: A combined show of paintings at Roopa Art Gallery (Taj Mahal Hotel).

    1962: Second combined show of paintings at Roopa Art gallery.

    1964: Third combined show of paintings at Connoisseur Art Gallery.

    1965: Rhythm And Colour - the exhibition of coloured sketches at Jehangir Art Gallery.

    1967: Fish Fantasy - an exhibition of paintings based on the forms of fishes, Taj Art Gallery.

    1968: Living Within A Painting-an experiment of living within a painting was carried out in which all the four walls of a room including the ceiling floor and the furniture were painted with mod figures and forms.

    1969: Mirror Collage- evolved a new, bold technique in the field of art. The very first show of this exhibition at the Taj Art Gallery proved to be a grand success.

    1970: 2nd Mirror Collage show at Artist Center (Mumbai). Designed a Mirror Collage Mural KRISHNA-LEELA (16’x 7’ ) for Air India’s stall at Expo-70 (Japan). Visited, travelled and lived in Japan for 2 months.

    1971: 3rd Mirror Collage show at Taj Art Gallery.

    1972: Films Division (Govt. of India) made a colour film on the experiments of the artist. The short film was titled ABID. It was directed by the internationally known director Mr. Pramod Pati.

    1974: 4th Mirror Collage show at Taj Art Gallery.

    1979: Experimented in plastic-molding & exhibited at the Taj Art Gallery.

    1981: Exhibited oils at the Taj Art Gallery.

    1982: Muslim Mystics-exhibition of miniature paintings on Sufism at the Taj Art Gallery.

    1984: Muslim Mystics- exhibited at Delhi, Triveni Gallery.

  • Award & Recognition

    National award conferred by the Indian Government in 1993.

    Critical Acclaim:
    • His strong points are novel compositions, bold brush strokes and an elegant taste in the use of colours. Indian Express, 15th September 1958.

    • Abid Surti 13 oils and 2 water colors show him to be well-acquainted with the more contemporary forms of expression. Times Of India, June 1961.

    • Abid who has some strong ideas, puts them on canvas with brazen strength and sometimes agonizing ambiguity. Onlooker, 1961.

    • Abid Surti has refined style. Crisp and modern in his idioms, he is able to convey what he wants with ease. Times Of India, 1962.

    • This rather amazing young man needs constant or rather several Interchangeable outlets for creative expressions. JS, December 1970.

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