Saadat Hasan Manto

Saadat Hasan Manto

Saadat Hasan Manto was one of the greatest Urdu writers of the last century. He led a rich life, the last years of which, sadly, were given to trials for obscenity, financial troubles and, finally, a liver cirrhosis that was the cause of his death at age 42, in 1955, in Lahore, Pakistan.

In happier years in Bombay, Manto was also a film journalist and a radio and film scriptwriter. As an insider in the Bombay film industry he had a ready window into the lives of the brightest stars of those times. 

Here, Mahmood Farooqui reads what Manto had to say about the devastatingly handsome actor Shyam, a close friend of Manto’s, who, if not for his untimely death at 31, could have been one of Hindi cinema’s biggest stars. 

Image Courtesy – SMM Ausaja (Private Collection)

Audio Production – Raghav Suthaud (Oijo!)











Also Read:

The Narcissus of Undying Bloom. Saadat Hasan Manto on his likely and unlikely encounters with the actress Nargis.


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The Death of a Piper

May 2013
By Mahmood Farooqui

Mahmood Farooqui is a historian and Rhodes scholar. His first book Besieged: Voices From Delhi 1857 (Penguin) is a record of the Mutiny Papers, documents which provide sub altern perspectives on the siege of Delhi during the 1857 uprising. He has also translated legendary playwright and theatre director Habib Tanvir's memoirs, which were originally published in Urdu, and worked as a researcher on William Dalrymple's historical narrative The Last Mughal. Farooqui has revived the ancient art of storytelling Dastangoi and performs it for a present day audience. One of the recent dastans he has performed has been Mantoiyat, on the life and times of Saadat Hasan Manto. Along with his wife, Anusha Rizvi, he has co-directed a feature film called Peepli Live.