Did you know prolific short story writer Saadat Hasan Manto (May 11, 1912 – January 18, 1955) wrote his own epitaph which reads :
“Here lies buried Saadat Hasan Manto in whose bosom are enshrined all the secrets and art of short story writing. Buried under mounds of earth, even now he is contemplating whether he is a greater short story writer or God.”
Manto is buried in Pakistan. His sister thought, perhaps wisely, that some in God’s own country may not have the sense of humour stomach a writer compare himself to God. She had the tombstone replaced with another that has these words: “Yahan Manto dafan hay jo aaj bhi ye samajhta hay kay wo loh-e-Jahan per harf-e-muqarar nahi tha (Here lies buried Manto who still believes that he was not the final word on the face of the earth).”
Manto was also a film and radio scriptwriter, and journalist. In his short life, he published twenty-two collections of short stories, one novel, five collections of radio plays, three collections of essays, two collections of personal sketches.
- Urduwallahs will celebrate Manto’s Birth Centenary in the month of May by writing, reading and discussing Manto’s life and works.