Millennium Post

Why Manto writes

Why Manto writes
From poignantly exploring the madness of Partition through non-sensical musings of anxious  inmates of an insane asylum in his brilliant short story Toba Tek Singh to showcasing his writing genius in narrating life’s most mundane things in an enchanting manner, Saadat Hasan Manto is definitely one of the greatest chronicler of 20th century.

Every city has had a narrator who unfolds its characterisitcs, its voice, its people and places and infuses a sense life in it through his work of art. Manto did that for Bombay. Aakar Patel, author and a journalist who has edited and translated Manto’s writings in Why I Write: Essays by Saadar Hasan Manto said at the launch of the book, ‘In Manto’s, “Bombay” has its finest chronicler.’

The book is a collection of Manto’s non-fiction essays and contains his angst-written tales of Mumbai. Patel while translating the essays retains the nuances of Manto’s magical narration and showcases the writer’s genius while dealing with life’s ordinary things like graveyards, bumming cigarettes, a film crew with motley characters from mythology. The bok contanis Manto’s sharp dissection of what ails the subcontinent even after six decades -Hindi or Urdu, vile politicians and the hopelessness of living under the shadow of fear.

The launch was followed by one of the mesmerising performances by Dastangoi on one of Manto’s stories. Dastangoi is an ancient form of story telling and revived with great care by Mehmood Farooqui and his team of talented artists – Danish Shakil and Darain Shahidi. The troupe presented, Mantoiyat, a Dastanic presentation on  the life and times of Saadat Hasan Manto.

The publishers, Westland/Tranquebar Press reiterated their commitment to publishing great writers from the subcontinent and shall continue in the vein to showcase brilliant  writers like Saadat Hasan Manto.
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