A professor of Physics by profession, now Principal of a leading science college, but she is more known to the world as a writer in Marathi, she is Mrs. Madhuri M. Shanbhag from Belgaum another star of Belgaum. A multi faceted personality who has been a winner on all fronts from home to work and the literary field as well. She was earlier Geeta Prabhu Ajgaonkar. Born and brought up in Belgaum and she married Dr.Mohan Shanbag.
Over 25Marathi books written by her have been published by noted Marathi publishers, on the subjects like science, fiction, short stories, novels and biographies. She also translated 4 English books into Marathi, the most notable amongst it being “Agni Pankh” the translation of the book “Wings of fire” written by Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam.
She has won many awards a list of which is too big to fit hence I have appended it at the bottom. Just to name a few notable awards will include the Lalit Vidnyaan Maharashtra Raajya Puraskaar on two occasions, KATHA Best Marathi short story, 2004.
She is very good short story writer with also a passion to translate best works into in Marathi, and the best example are “Agni Pankh” (14th Edition) the translation of the book “Wings of fire” written by Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam and one written by Kiran Bedi. (As I See, part1 ‘women empowerment, part2 ‘indian police’ part3 ‘leadership and governance; translated as ‘Streeyanche Saxameekaran, Sharateey Polisasevaa, Netrutv aani Prashasan)She is currently working on translating Keep of the grass, smart leadership, ‘Doctors from hell’.
Her writing skills are far varied, she also written biographies of Kalpana Chavala (‘Swanankadun Satyakade’ 6th edition), Chandreshekar Subrnamayam(2nd edition), JRD Tata 3rd edition.
She has also written science Fiction like Punarjanm, Indradhanushya, SAP mungi udalee akashee etc. She has also written novels like Brain Waves and Tamaachya Talaashi. Not just this she has also written a set of poems for the kids.
Knowledge grows only when it is shared and with the same perception she has been giving lectures on literary and social topics, translations in and around Belgaum, in different towns of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, M.P., Delhi and many other places.
She also spends time for the social uplifment of the society and she is working as a secretary of T.F.E. Society which runs ‘Balika Adarsh Vidyalaya’ a school for Girls from lowers section of society. She also is an active member of a social organization G.S.B.Samaj’. She actively participates in the literary organizations like Manthan, Vasant Vykhanmala etc
Mrs. Madhuri M. Shanbhag is working as a Professor of Physics at Govindram Sekseria Science College (Senior) from 1977. She is currently the Principal of the college.
Some excerpts of the interview with Madhuri M. Shanbhag :
When did you start writing and what was your motivation behind the same?
Ans: Well I started late, when my son Manish started going to school, in 1989, I wrote one article and everybody praised it. Then I came to know that I have many more things to tell and the rest is history for me.
What is that you first wrote?
Ans: The first article I wrote was a ‘lalitlekh’ on my favorite teacher Prof. V.G. Tilagul.
In all your writings you seem to be influenced by science? Is that because you are a Physics professor?
Ans: Yes, science is something I am in love with, but actually its people which interest me more when it comes to writing. Most of my works are the result of my interest in people. For science, I love to pen influence of science on people.
Agnipankh was a great success story for you, what inspired you to translate that biography into Marathi?
Ans: Well, I knew Dr. Kalam as a scientist in composites (smart materials), also the chief of five Indian missiles. When I read a small news item about his autobiography, the son of an illiterate poor boatman of Rameshvar reaching the highest civil honor, ‘Bharat-ratna’ completely on his merit and intelligence, I thought that it must be very interesting journey. And yes it is.Rests are the details like finding a publisher, who purchased rights and made a contract.
How has been the support of your family towards all your work? You must have to make balance between home and work and also your writing?
Ans: I always feel that if you like to do something, you will find time. You even don’t mind forgoing your favorite pleasures. My husband Dr. Mohan Shanbhag is proud of me as a writer. Even my kids are very supportive about my writing. I was also taking care of the house. For a long time children, sansar and my teaching was my first priority.
What do you like to do most teaching or writing?
Ans: Both are my favorite. Well, nowadays writing is in number one position.
You have given lectures on so many varied topics and in various places can you narrate some good and bad incidents?
Ans: That will be a long answer. But at this point I will say that good incidences outnumber bad ones.
What do you like to do when you are not working and also not writing?
Ans: I love to cook, particularly fish dishes. Then chat with my friends on phone, or netchat with my son and daughter. Surf on the net on my favorite sites. Read a book, well there are umpteen things I can think of.
Are you working on something new these days, what is it another translation or fiction?
Ans: I am translating a book on Second World War, ‘Doctors from Hell’ by Vivien Spitz. I write one article ‘Kshitij’ every first Sunday of month in ‘Saptarang’ (Sunday special of Sakal daily.)
Who are your idols?
Ans: Dr. Richard Feynman, (I am writing his biography), Dr.Kalam, JRD Tata, Chandra S. and many more in the field of science. Vijay Tendulkar, Dalavi, Arati Prabhu, G.A. Kulkarni,Shashi Deshapande,
Reading of books has plummeted in the modern world your thoughts on this?
Ans: Yes, television and e-revolution has done that. But at least in India the literacy rate is increasing and very few have access to e-reading. Besides reading percolates in your mind and TV pictures just fly. You don’t remember the scenes you have seen yesterday till you see today’s episode. I do believe that books have lasting effect on you.
What are your thoughts on this Site?
Ans: I have not gone through each and every detail, I will do that very soon but the glimpse is very interesting. Keep it up
Literary Awards she has got.
Lalit Vidnyaan Maharashtra Raajya Puraskaar, 2005
KATHA Best Marathi short story, 2004
Shri. Pu. Na. Pandit Best Short Story collection award , 2004
Kavi Anand award for best short story collection, 2004
Lalit Vidnyaan Raajya Puraskaar, 2003
Shantaadevi Shirole writer award by Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad, 2003
Swatantryaveer Saavarkar award for Lalit Vidnyaan, 2000
Mahipati Puraskaar by Sangaati Sahitya Academy for best translation
Shri. Ka. Di. Sontakke award by Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad, 2000
Ideal Reader award, Malatibai Dandekar contest – First Prize, 2000
Short Story Collection
Palasaachi Paane, Kaachkamal, Chakawaa, Chehare, Aanakhi Ek Rastaa, Phule ani Patri, Punarvasan, Neersi mohamaya, samudra
Punrjanma, Indradhanushya, Sap Mungi udalee akashee, Brainwaves, Tamaachya Talaashi
Swapnakadun Satyakade, Chandrashekhar, JRD
Dr. A. P. J. Kalaam Ek Vyaktivedh, Joy of Cancer – As I see (three parts), Prayogatun vidnyan (Translation), (Learning science from experts for children of 6 to 16)