Finest Urdu writer Saadat Manto remembered

One of the finest fine short story writers in Urdu literature Saadat Hasan Manto was remembered on his death anniversary Wednesday.

Saadat Hasan Manto, a great Urdu short story writer of South Asia, was born on May 11, 1912. During his early days he met an itinerant journalist, Abdul Bari Alig, who soon changed the young man’s imaginary dabbling with genuine interest in politics and enthusiasm for movie stars which was available in India in English and Urdu translation.

Bari encouraged Manto to attempt a translation of Hugo’s The Last Days of Condemned, a drama into Urdu. Manto completed the translation in about two weeks and sold it to the Urdu Book Stall, Lahore, which published it under the title Sarguzasht-e-Aseer.

Having now become a published author, Manto aided by Hasan Abbas soon attempted a translation of Oscar Wilde’s Vera, which was published in 1934. Manto also continued to try his hand at original short stories in Urdu, at least one of which “Inqlab Pasand”, dated March 1935 which was published in the Aligarh Magazine.

Later his story ‘Tamasha” and several others were put together into Manto’s first collection of original short stories in Urdu, ‘Atish Pare”, published in 1936. Later he came to Lahore and joined newspaper Paras.

In late 1936, he accepted an invitation to edit the weekly Musawwir. In 1941, he came to Delhi and accepted the job of writing for Urdu Service of All India Radio. Soon four of his collections of radio plays, Ao, Mantoke Drame, Janaze and Tin Aurraten were published.

Then the controversial short story collection Dhuan came out. His first collection of topical essays, Manto ke Mazamin, also appeared during this time.

Some of his other publications are, Atishpare – 1936, Manto Ke Afsane – 1940, Dhuan – 1941, Afsane Aur Dramme- 1943, Laazat-e-sang- 1948, Chughd- 1948, Siyah Hasiye- 1948, Badshahat ka Khatimah- 1950, Khali Botlein- 1950, Nimrud ki khudai- 1950, Thanda gosht- 1950, Yazid- 1951, Parde ke Pichhe- 1953, Sarak ke kinare- 1953, Baghair Unwan ke-1954, Baghair Ijazt-1955, Burque-1955, Phundne-195 Sarkandonke pichhe-1955, Shaitan-1955, Shikari Auratein- 1955, Ratti, Masha, Tolah-1956, Tahira se Tahir-1971, Kaali shalwar-1961, Manto ke behtreen kahanian-1963 etc.

He died on January 18, 1955 at the age of 44 years.