Delhi-based writer and activist Sadia Dehlvi on Wednesday died after a prolonged battle with cancer, PTI reported. She was 63.
She was recently hospitalised, On August 1, her son, Arman Ali Dehlvi, had posted an online fundraiser request for her treatment, according to The Indian Express. A close friend of the writer told the newspaper she died at home.
Dehlvi was a columnist with the English daily, the Hindustan Times. She was also a well-known food connoisseur and wrote a book on Delhi’s culinary history in 2017, titled, Jasmine & Jinns: Memories and Recipes of My Delhi. Her other well-known works are, The Sufi Courtyard: Dargahs of Delhi, and The Heart of Islam.
Besides this, Dehlvi edited Bano, an Urdu women’s journal. Her grandfather, Hafiz Yusuf Dehlvi, founded Shama in 1938, which is an iconic Urdu film and literary monthly. She also scripted the hugely popular TV show, Amma and Family, starring Zohra Sehgal.
Additionally Dehlvi founded Al Kauser, the restaurant in Chanakyapuri with her mother in 1979.
Dehlvi was a close friend and confidante of the late author Khushwant Singh, who had dedicated his book, Not a Nice Man to Know, to her. Singh’s book Men and Women in my Life has Dehlvi’s photo on its cover and also a chapter dedicated to her.
“I wished her on her birthday in June, she was fighting cancer so bravely,” Activist John Dayal, who knew Dehlvi’s father, told The Indian Express. “Her family contributed immensely to the syncretic culture of the city, and so did she. She popularised Mughal cuisine with her writing.”
Eminent historian Irfan Habib condoled Dehlvi’s death. “Sad to hear about the tragic demise of Sadia Dehlvi, a well known cultural figure of Delhi, a dear friend and a wonderful human being,” he tweeted. “Rest in Peace.”
Delhi historian Rana Safi also condoled the writer’s death. “I love her writing, especially her book The Sufi Courtyard: Dargahs of Delhi,” she told The Indian Express. “ I used to often see her at the Dargah… With her gone, the dargahs will feel empty.”