Madhuri M. Shanbhag a multifaceted personality


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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 Belagavi another star of Belagavi. A multi-faceted personality who has been a winner on all fronts from home to work and the literary field as well. Born as Geeta Prabhu Ajgaonkar 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.


madhuri-shanbagShe 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 is “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 off the grass, smart leadership, ‘Doctors from hell’.

Her writing skills are far varied, she also wrote 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 Belagavi, in different towns of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, M.P., Delhi and many other places.

Mrs. Madhuri M. Shanbhag worked as a Professor of Physics at Govindram Sekseria Science College (Senior) from 1977. She retired as the Principal.

Some excerpts of the interview with Madhuri M. Shanbhag :

madhuri-shanbagWhen did you start writing and what was your motivation behind the same?

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.

Do you remember what you wrote first?

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?

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?

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 a 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 a balance between home and work and also your writing? 

I always feel that if you like to do something, you will find the 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 of my writing. I was also taking care of the house. For a long time children, Sansar and my teaching was my first priority.

You have given lectures on so many varied topics and in various places can you narrate some good and bad incidents?

That will be a long answer. But at this point, I will say that good incidence outnumber bad ones.

What do you like to do when you are not working and also not writing?

I love to cook, particularly fish. 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?

I am translating a book on Second World War, ‘Doctors from Hell’ by Vivien Spitz. I write one article ‘Kshitij’ every first Sunday of a month in ‘Saptarang’ (Sunday special of Sakal daily.)

Who are your idols?

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 Deshpande.

Reading of books has plummeted in the modern world your thoughts on this?

Yes, television, mobiles, and e-revolution have 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 a lasting effect on you.

Published Books

Short Story Collection

Palasaachi Paane, Kaachkamal, Chakawaa, Chehare, Aanakhi Ek Rastaa, Phule ani Patri, Punarvasan, Neersi mohamaya, samudra

Science Fiction

Punrjanma, Indradhanushya, Sap Mungi udalee akashee, Brainwaves, Tamaachya Talaashi

Biography –  Swapnakadun Satyakade, Chandrashekhar, JRD
  Translations—  Agneepankha –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)

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  1. मधुरिताई, तुमचे आयुष्याच्या लढाईवरती बोलु काही कथासंग्रह खूपच मनाला भावला, प्रत्येक कथा वाचून झाली की विचार करायला लावते, खूप वेळ त्यातले काही प्रसंग मनात घोळत राहतात, विचारांची दिशाच बदलून जाते, positivity खूप वाढते

  2. मॅडम तुमचे लिखाण खूप भावते. अग्निपंख, जे.आर.डी फार आवडले. सावलीची पिसे ने मला परत लहानपणीच्या आठवणी जागृत केल्या. खूप सारे धन्यवाद. अशाच भरभरून लिहित टला

  3. मी आजच माधुरी ताईंचे आयुष्याच्या लढाई वरती बोलू काही हे पुस्तक वाचले. पुस्तक खूपच छान आहे. आजूबाजूला घडणाऱ्या घटनाच वाचत आहोत असं वाटत होतं.
    त्यांना माझ्या हार्दिक शुभेच्छा!

  4. Still I remember about Simple harmonic motion, when I was in Part-I class, even she was teaching our understandable language. I am proud to her past student. Just looking at her photo also brings +ve thoughts in my mind.

  5. adarniy madam, apalya charani sadar pranam, mi apala maji vidhyarthi. facebookvarahi dislat khup bare vatale. amachya madam jeva principal banalya teva malach principal zalyasarakhe vatale. arthik tanavakhali shikshan ghetalyamule mi jast pragati karu shakalo nahi, yachi khant hi vatate, pan amachya parighatil tumachyasarakhi RATNE jeva akashi zep ghet astat,teva amhala tyatun jaganyache nave bal milat aste. Physicsmadhyech n adakata samajatil barech barkave avagat kelat. konatyahi antyayatrela gelyavar tumchi katha athavalyashivay rahat nahi. kharokharich uttung shikhar gathalat. maji vidhyarthi ase mhanalo tari te fakt kagadopatri, pan ajahi tumachyakadun khup kahi shikayala milate. Teva janmabharacha vidhyarthi ase mhanavun ghyayala jast abhiman vatato. kharach belgavchya mega star ahat tumhi. MAMANCHYA(SHRI Kiran Thakur) velache NIRUPAN tar nivval apratim! jast kay type karu ? shevati amhi padalo samanya nagarik. amhala bhavana vyakt karayala shabd kuthe mahit? pan tumhi samajun gheta. DHANYAWAD!

  6. Geeta is the best of the best people whom I know. I was fortunate to be associated with Geeta and Prabhu family for many years. I grew up with them. Geeta was excellent writter even in school and colleague.

    I am so proud of her achievements.

    Please keep it up

  7. Mrs. Shanbhag was my physics teacher in PUC, GSS college, during the academic years, 1981-1983. I am delighted to read that she is now the principal of GSS. She had a good command on the subject and was able to deliver her knowledge very effectively. I didn't know that she was also a writer, and that too such an accomplished one.

    I am delighted to read this article and hold her in an even higher esteem. I am not sure if she remembers me now; though her colleagues such as Prof. Prabhu, Prof. Gadgil, etc. do remember me, especially because of my late father, Dr. G. G. Hukeri. If you can pass on my regards and greetings to her, I would really appreciate it. Living in the US and making very few trips to India or Belgaum, doesn't exactly give me the opportunity to offer my respects personally to her.

    Best regards,

    Mukund Hukeri.

  8. I have the fortune, for the lack of any other powerful word, bein born in Belgaum. Its a town that i have more heard off, than lived. And, when i did spend time here, i experienced more love than anguish, I was promised of. I have recived extraordinary love, from sources that i never expected.. breaking mangloa glass tops in aunty's back yard, sending down hours of rubber balls to crdible batting sources in sone area with ruddy mud pitches for hours at end and facing the same deal from other more taller bowlers. That was life for me….i grew as a cricketer and a a human being..dealing with Chotu mama..his wife, tai as was obvious, tatya whom we revered, hemant or bhalya. Those free moments between films that 'Tai' sponsored….I love her so much…and tatya for creating a reading zone that got me into a tizzy….and of most of all…..emparting the grace of holding knowledge,,

    more than that i lost.


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