Sahni was born to Yudhishthir Sahni in 1913. He studied at Lahore University, where he completed his Bachelors in English Literature. His hometown was Rawalpindi. He held a Bachelors degree in Hindi also and went on to complete Masters in English. He worked in his family’s business at Rawalpindi, and later on married Damayanti Sahni. They, later on, shifted to Bengal to teach English at the Visva Bharati University in Shantiniketan.
They had a son,
Parikshit Sahni when his wife was in the process of getting a Bachelors degree. He also worked with Mahatma Gandhi in 1938 for a year. He returned to India in 1943 after working for BBC London. He worked on the idea of the All India Youth Federation and organized its first conference in Delhi. He was the first president of the organization and it went on to become a huge success and also became famous.
Parikshit Sahni, his son, is also an actor. He died due to a massive cardiac arrest some time before his 60th birthday. He faced depression before his death due to the sudden death of his daughter Shabnam.