Remembering Ruth Prawer Jhabvala


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           APRIL 10 , 2013           01.10 A.M.

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala CBE

7 May 1927 – 3 April 2013

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala in Younger Days

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala in Younger Days

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

She was a German-born British and American Booker prize-winning novelist, short story writer and two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter. Ruth Prawer Jhabvala wrote a dozen novels, 23 screenplays and eight collections of short stories . She was made a CBE in 1998 . She is the only person to ever have won both a Booker Prize and an Oscar.

She mainly wrote screenplay for Merchant Ivory Productions . In 1963, Jhabvala was approached by James Ivory and Ismail Merchant to write a screenplay for their debut film ” The Householder  ” based on her 1960 novel.  The movie, released by Merchant Ivory Productions in 1963 and starring Shashi Kapoor and Leela Naidu met with critical praise and it marked the beginning of a partnership that resulted in over 20 films.

The Triumvirate : Ivory , Merchant & Jhabvala

The Triumvirate : Ivory , Merchant & Jhabvala

The Householder was followed by Shakespeare Wallah (1965) , Roseland (1977) ,  Hullabaloo Over Georgie and Bonnie’s Pictures (1978) , The Europeans (1979) , Jane Austen in Manhattan (1980) , Quartet (1981) , The Courtesans of Bombay (1983) , Heat and Dust in (1983 ) , The Bostonians (1984) , Madame Sousatzka (1988) , Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (1990) , Jefferson in Paris (1995) , Surviving Picasso (1996) , A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries (1998) , the screenplay for which she co-authored with Ivory, The Golden Bowl (2000) and The City of Your Final Destination (2009) which was adapted from the eponymous novel by Peter Cameron and was her last screenplay.Le Divorce which she co-wrote with Ivory was the last movie that featured the trio of Merchant, Ivory and Jhabvala before Merchant’s death that year.

The Triumvirate : Ivory , Merchant & Jhabvala

The Triumvirate : Ivory , Merchant & Jhabvala

She won her first Academy Award for her screenplay for A Room with a View (1986) and won a second in the same category for Howards End (1992) . She was nominated for a third Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay the following year for The Remains of the Day  (1993) .

Selected screenplays

Year Title Other notes
2008 The City of Your Final Destination screenplay, adapted from the novel by Peter Cameron
2003 Le Divorce co-written by James Ivory, adapted from the novel by Diane Johnson
2000 The Golden Bowl screenplay, adapted from the novel by Henry James
1998 A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries screenplay, adapted from the novel by Kaylie Jones
1996 Surviving Picasso screenplay
1995 Jefferson in Paris written by
1993 The Remains of the Day screenplay, adapted from the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro
1992 Howards End screenplay, adapted from the novel by E. M. Forster
1990 Mr. and Mrs. Bridge screenplay, adapted from the novels by Evan S. Connell (“Mr. Bridge” & “Mrs. Bridge”)
1988 Madame Sousatzka screenplay, adapted from the novel by Bernice Rubens. Directed by John Schlesinger
1985 A Room with a View screenplay, adapted from the novel by E. M. Forster
1984 The Bostonians screenplay, adapted from the novel by Henry James
1983 Heat and Dust screenplay, adapted from the novel by Jhabvala
1981 Quartet screenplay, adapted from the novel by Jean Rhys
1980 Jane Austen in Manhattan written by, inserted libretto “Sir Charles Grandison” by Jane Austen
1979 The Europeans screenplay, adapted from the novel by Henry James
1978 Hullabaloo Over Georgie and Bonnie’s Pictures written by
1977 Roseland story and screenplay
1975 Autobiography of a Princess written by
1972 Bombay Talkie screenplay
1969 The Guru screenplay
1965 Shakespeare Wallah screenplay
1963 The Householder screenplay, adapted from the novel by Jhabvala

This two-time Oscar winner for her screenplays will also be remembered for her unforgettable novels and short stories like :

Novels and short stories

She will be missed . I saw her film ” The Householder ” in Palace talkies of Allahabad and was moved that two Indian actors ; Shashi Kapoor and Leela Naidu , played the main protagonists in the film , which she wrote . Though at that time I didn’t know that the writer of the film is Ruth Prawer Jhabvala .

On behalf of all the students and staff of my acting institute  Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , I offer my condolences . May her soul rest in peace !



[ I have taken the list of her films and name of the novels and short stories written by her from Wikipedia . Certain other facts and data is also taken from Wikipedia . As I always do , I express my profound gratitude . ]




Dual Citizenship of India & Sir V. S. Naipaul

The idea of PRAVASI BHARATIYA DIWAS and Dual Citizenship for the People of Indian Origin was first mooted by the B.J.P. government,  led by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpaee. It was subsequently implemented by the UPA government, led by Dr. Manmohan Singh of the Congress. When the idea was first mooted, Non-Resident Indians ( NRI ) and People of Indian Origin ( PIO ), were ecstatic . At least there was one opportunity to get connected to your homeland. There was one golden chance to belong to the land of your forefathers. NRIs and PIOs started eagerly waiting for the coveted status of Overseas Citizenship of India ( OCI ) . It was decided by the B.J.P. government that the owners of OCI card will get life-long visa to visit India and can stay in India as long as they wish. They don’t need to report to police on arrival. Though PIOs wanted voting rights, right to contest elections and right to buy agricultural lands also but it was not agreed upon.

After B.J.P. government lost election, it was feared that the UPA government, led by the Congress, will not be agreeable to the scheme. Luckily UPA didn’t put the scheme on the back-burner and went for it. The enthusiasm of the PIOs should be gauged by the fact that within four years of its inception, more than 5 lakhs PIOs have got the coveted Overseas Citizenship of India. By the end of March 2010 , the government issued 5,73,324 dual citizenships in 91 countries. Among the Dual Citizenship holders nearly half are Americans. They are closely followed by Britishers, Canadians and Australians. There is a strong presence of  registered PIOs in France, Germany, Switzerland and Kenya also. It is surprising to find PIOs in countries like China, Venezuela,Finland, Israel and Mexico.

Now comes the case of celebrated writer, winner of Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001, Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul. Born on August 17, 1932 in Trinidad, he is one of the most famous Indian of our times. His maternal father used to live in Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh. He got Nobel Prize in the centenary year of the award. His 1957 novel ” The Mystic Masseur ” was made into a film in 2001. He also won Booker Prize in 1971. But all these credentials are of no significance  to the mandarins of Indian Embassy of U.K. They refused OCI card to Naipaul due to lack of documentation. They sought documents to prove that the Nobel laureate’s ancestors lived in Gorakhpur , Uttar Pradesh. Being one of the most famous Indian in the world didn’t help Sir Naipaul. Instead of feeling pride that the Nobel laureate wants a PIO card, the government cast doubts on Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul’s Indian origin.

Incidentally my forefathers also hailed from Gorakhpur. My present district Deoria was carved out of the Gorakhpur district. I am honoured and feel proud that I, at least, share something with Sir V. S. Naipaul. But embassy mandarins of the Indian embassy of U.K. don’t feel so.I am so ashamed and shocked that I cannot express my feelings. It shows the values of UPA government led by 125 years old Indian National Congress.

Shame !!  shame !!




This site is about Health and Wellbeing

Arun Shanbhag

Life is Beautiful, Live it the fullest is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: