Get Even More Visitors To Your Blog, Upgrade To A Business Listing >>

Manto

Tags: manto story movie
I have been a fan of Nandita Das for the longest time but I saw her in an entirely new light with Manto. It is a beautifully made movie that tells a story of a people who had lost their way once and are still largely lost. The protagonist and those close to him were ahead of their times seventy years ago and they still are. I had not read a lot of Manto in the past but this movie made me want to. As I read, I found it impossible to believe that his stories were written in those times and even more astounding that there was actually a readership. His words are like a blunt instrument designed to inflict pain and let it linger. It is not possible to ignore or forget a story like Khol Do. 

Reading Manto made me think about people I knew of that era, many of whom have passed on by now. Or people like my parents who were just born around that time and have only heard of the atrocities and bloodshed. The lucky amongst them were largely sheltered from it and have no personal memories of the time. Refugee families like mine grew up on stories of life before and after partition. The mythology overtaking reality with each re-telling.  I had a great grandmother who our relatives said had lost her mind and had trouble understanding the realities of her new life in India. A generation or two removed from the events, it was often hard for us to separate facts from alternate and imagined realities. Each person that told us their story had a reason to tell it the way they did. I wondered if any of them would have been able to endure Manto's writing and if they did what other than obscenity they may see in it. 

Even for my generation and those decades younger, this is not the world the majority is comfortable experiencing. We seek our escape from reality in its most brutal and unadorned forms to something more sanitary and infantilized so it becomes bearable.  There is a reason that the likes of Chetan Bhagat are best-selling authors in India. We were not ready for Manto then and might never be. Instead, we will read such poignant essays of regret that begin with "Saadat Hasan Manto has a good claim to be considered the greatest South Asian writer of the 20th century. "


This post first appeared on Heartcrossings, please read the originial post: here

Share the post

Manto

×

Subscribe to Heartcrossings

Get updates delivered right to your inbox!

Thank you for your subscription

×