Saadat Hasan Manto is a magical word for Urdu language readers. He was an Indo-Pakistan short story writer who got famous as the most celebrated screenwriter, playwright, and novelist. He lived from a very young age, from 11 May 1922 to 18 January 1955. His short stories gave him rousing success and brought his life into trouble. He was a man of societal issues who created awareness through his bare writings. So in this article, we will discuss his life, achievements, significant works, and complete biography in detail.
Introducing Legendary writer Saadat Hasan Manto:
On 11 May 1912, Saadat Hasan Manto was born in a British Indian Punjab Muslim family in Samrala village. His father was a barrister and served as a local court judge. Both of them had ethnically Kashmiri lineage, making them proud of being Kashmiri. There is not enough detail about his father’s life and family background, but he belonged to a Sunni Muslim Kashmiri family.
Reading & Writings:
In 1933, at 21, a life-turning moment came when Manto met Abdul Bari Alig, who changed his life. It was a hallmark of his life when he sought knowledge from his mentor. His teacher was a prolific writer and scholar in Amritsar, Punjab. Abdul Bari Alig found a different man who later proved him right in the extensive selection of Urdu literature.
By reading French and Russian writers, Saadat Hasan Manto produced his first-ever translation of Victor’s Hugo, “The Last Day of Condemned Man.” It was an Urdu translation published in Sarguzasht e Aseer, Lahore. Soon, he realized his fate and joined Masawat – a publishing house in Ludhiana.
In 1934, he attended Aligarh Muslim University India, which changed his life’s motive. During his days there, he joined the Indian Progressive Writers Association, which boosted his interest in literature. Ali Sardar Jafri met him there and applauded his writing skills. At the same time, he wrote a short story published in ‘Inqlaab Pasand’ – an Aligarh magazine.
From the 1940s to 1945, these six years completely overwhelmed his career. In early 1940, he accepted the job offer of a writer for All India Radio. It was a golden period that became very fruitful for him. Saadat Hasan Manto penned radio plays listed as Aao, Manto Kay Dramay, Teen Aurtein, and Janaze. Soon afterward, he started writing short stories in 1943, following the title of Manto Ke Mazamin and Manto Ke Afsane.
At the end of 1945, his short stories collection was published, with the following stories Kaali Shalwar, Dhuan, Bu, Chugad, etc. All these stories have twenty-two (22) volumes in the collection. Since these short stories were published, Manto faced charges of obscenity, and in this regard, he relinquished his job.
After a harrowing life in India, he left his ancestral village and migrated to Pakistan – a newly formed country after the partition of 1947. Hereafter coming to Lahore, Saadat Hasan Manto joined the company of great intellectuals. He lived here and is associated with the most famous place in Lahore ‘Pak Tea House” on mall road.
Nasir Kazmi, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi, and Ahmad Rahi joined him also on Pak Tea House. All of them had to live with literature and literary works. From 1950 to 1955, Saadat Hasan Manto wrote as many as countless essays, plays, screenplays, novels, and short stories. All his stories about the taboos, lust, ill-manner politics and corruption exposed the bureaucrats of the Pakistani government.
Obscenity and Saadat Hasan Manto:
Saadat Hasan Manto faced charges of obscenity six times. Three-time in India when he wrote Kaali Shalwar, Dhuwan, and Bu and three-time in Pakistan for his short stories Uper Neechay Aur Darmyan, Khol Do, and most famous, Thanda Gosht. Fortunately, all the time, he won his case.
He used to say that “I’m not a pornographer but a story writer.”
Saadat Hasan Manto – as a writer of the Young generation:
The young age likes Saadat Hasan Manto Books for several reasons. They love to read his books about lust, puberty, and negativity. He commented about his writings, “If you find my stories dirty, the society you are living in is dirty; I only expose the truth.”
Death of Saadat Hasan Manto:
Manto’s death was an open call to the drinkers. His death was not merely a secret, as all his friends knew he was addicted to alcohol. He died on 18 January 1955 due to liver cirrhosis. Drinking alcohol was his hobby, along with writing stories. His death was a massive loss for Urdu literature, didn’t he?
Saadat Hasan Manto Books List:
Here is a complete list of Saadat Hasan Manto Books and stories:
- Manto Ke Afsane
- Thanda Gosht
- Badshahat Ka Khatma
- Siyah Hashiye
- Loud Speaker
- Budha Khost
- Manto Rama’s short stories
- Namrood Ki Khudai
- Manto Numa
- Kali Shalwar
- Nawadrat e Manto
- Shikari Aurtein
- Neeli Ragein
- Manto Ke Numainda
- Hajj e Akbar
- Toba Tek Singh
- Talkh Tursh Shireen
- Tahira Se Tahir
- Noor Jahan Saroor Jahan
- Baghair Unwan Ke
- Baghiar Ijazat
- Sarkandon Ke Peechay
- Ek Mard
- Karwat Stories
- Ganjay Farishtay
- Aatish Paray
- Uper Neechay Aur Darmyan
- Khali Botlain Khali Dabbay
- Lazzat e Sang
- Manto Ke Mazameen
- Tamasha Afsane
We hope our valued readers will love Saadat Hasan Manto and his works. You may also want to read Ashfaq Ahmed, Iqbal Kazmi, and Mumtaz Mufti. If you want to learn more, subscribe to our website for updates.