Saadat Hasan Manto, the name is enough only. Master storyteller and what not. Readers love him and swear by him but to be honest, I have never really read much of him. Its not that I don’t want to, its just that I have not been able to. When I first got to know about this book by Ayesha Jalal, I thought let me first read about Manto and then hop on to his works and that’s why I decided to pick this book up. Also, what intrigued me towards this book the author is related to Manto. That is what made me stay firm on my decision to pick this book up and I am glad that I read this book. Brilliant is an understatement for this one.
Right from page 1 till the end, the author has weaved almost everything that one would want to or like to know about Manto. His life, his love for literature and liquor. Him as a master short story teller, journalist and a critic. The author has Manto’s life as the base of her work. His typical behaviour towards modern era, his journeys to Amritsar, Delhi, Bombay and Lahore, and later, the borders of India and Pakistan where he explored these cities to the best of his capacity. His friendship with other prominent writers and film personalities. His path to explore various forms of writing. All this and a lot more including what the title of the book suggest, the partition and its implications on the mankind.
The partition ont he basis of religion is something that bothered Manto to its extremes. How one line, one sentence and one emotions gave birth to literary milestones by him. Ayesha Jalal tells everything that is possible about Manto, the person behind the legendary works, his anger, sorrow, bewilderment and helplessness that Partition brought to the lives of millions of people in India and Pakistan. Also, I came to know that a lot of Manto’s stories are based on real life characters and incidents.
Apart from stories, Manto also wrote screenplays, plays, essays and letters to “Uncle Sam” to express his anger at what was being done to Pakistan by United States of America. This and a lot more, Ayesha Jalal has ensured she throws light on almost each and every aspect and work of Manto’s life. This is one book that every Manto lover would love to devour on. Those like me, who want to know much things about the literary master, this book will definitely fill you with a lot of information about the man himself.
Book Source : Publisher
Publisher : HarperCollins India
Genre : Non-Fiction
Price : Rs. 599/-