When it comes to world renowned scholars and intellectuals who have dwelled deep into humans psychology and bring about the darkness and obscenity that resides behind the apparent civil and ethical abode, one of the greatest names that comes to mind is Sadat Hassan Manto.
Sadat Hassan Manto is one of the renowned Urdu scholars, intellectuals, and writers. He is renowned all over the world for his style of writing, the imagery he has used, the satire of society he has depicted and the kind of realistic portrayal of the society that he has given in his writings.
In addition to the renowned works of Manto that are a part of every urdu learning course, the literary career of Manto has been divided into three categories, each comprising of a different style of writing. The lines below discuss those three periods of the works of Manto.
The first period of Manto started in 1939, which was the initial stage when Manto got involved into writing something. In this phase of his writing, the primary focus of Manto was on translating foreign works into urdu. In this regard, he started translating English and Russian stories. Once the stories were in a sufficient quantity, he got them published with the title of ‘Russi Afsane’. This period of life of Mufti comprises primarily of the translation work. From this translation work, Manto found some motivation and then in the year 1936 he published his first work of short stories by the name of ‘Atish Pare’. After that he moved to Bombay which started the next phase of his literary career.
In 1936, Manto moved to Bombay where for few years he worked as the editor of the magazine Musawwir. It was a film magazine that was published on monthly bases. Thus, with the help of this magazine Manto found his way into the film industry and started wirting film scripts and stories. However, the film business did not work well at that time and he had to move to Delhi to accept a job as a script writer in All India Radio in 1941. In this period of his career, he produced quality radio plays and dramas in addition to earning a good living for his family. Therefore, Manto continued on playing the same role in his literary career until the partition of subcontinent.
The third period of Manto’s writing is the one where he started writing afrfter migrating to Pakistan. During this phase, Manto produced one of his masterpieces like Thanda Gosht, Buu and Toba Take Singh. Although Manto produced masterpieces in this phase of his life, however, there was little regard or return for him at that time because he was prosecuted for obscenity and vulgarity at both legal and social level. Hence, during this phase of his life and career, Manto lived hand to mouth and this was what eventually lead to his death in 1955 in Lahore.
In short, Sadat Hassan Manto is one of the acclaimed writers in urdu language, and if he were to be taken out of the urdu literature, then the literature would lose all its charm, realism and satire. Although he is reckoned one of the greatest writers, however, he did not enjoy this claim and title in his life, like all the other great writers across the globe.