This Article First Appeared In Scroll On Apr 20, 2023
Since his death at the age of 72 in 1987, polymath Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, better known as KA Abbas, is remembered mainly for his screenplays and being one of the pioneers of Indian neo-realistic cinema. Few recall that before he attained celebrity as the screenwriter of iconic Hindi films such as Shree 420 and Awaara, Abbas worked as a cub reporter for The Bombay Chronicle.
Early in this stint, in July 1938, Abbas got an opportunity to travel from Bombay to Shanghai. He was just 24 then. And Shanghai had undergone an extraordinary transformation, becoming, as Abbas wrote in an article for his newspaper, the “world’s most amazing city”.