ISLAMABAD: Great Urdu language short story writer of the South Asia Saadat Hasan Manto was remembered on Saturday on his death anniversary.
Saadat Hasan Manto was born on May 11, 1912. During his early days, he met a journalist named Abdul Bari Alig, who soon changed the young man’s imaginary dabbling with revolution into genuine interest in politics and more importantly their enthusiasm for movie stars into fascination with nineteenth century French and Russian literature.
During this time Bari enthusiastically discovered Hugo’s ‘The Last Days of Condemned’, a drama expression opposition to capital punishment, and he encouraged Manto to attempt a translation of it 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 (A Prisoner’s Story). 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.
Besides encouraging the young Manto to translate good European literature into Urdu, Bari also urged him to return to his earlier literary inclination and begin writing himself in Urdu. While there, Manto also continued to try his hand at original short stories in Urdu, at least one of which Inqlab Pasand (Revolutionary), dated March 1935 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 (Sparks; also Quarrel-Provokers), published in 1936.
Later he came to Lahore and joined newspaper Paras.
In late 1936, he accepted an invitation to edit the weekly Musawwir (Painter) and justify Lahore for Bombay. In 1941, he came to Delhi and accepted the job of writing for Urdu service of All India Radio.
During his stay at All India Radio, Manto had the good fortune to be acquainted with many of these writers, including Chiragh Hasan Hasrat, Dr Akhtar Hussain Raipuri, Ansar Nasiri, Mahmud Nizami, Kirshan Chander, Miraji and Upendranath Ashk. Soon, four of his collection of radio plays, ‘Aao’, ‘Manto ke Drame’, ‘Janaze’ and ‘Tin Aurraten’ were published.
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 Drame (1943), Laazat-e-Sang (1948), Chughd (1948), Siyahhasiye (1948), Badshahat ka Khatimah (1950), Khali Botlein (1950), Namrud 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 1955, Sarkandon ke 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.
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