Short stories of Manto (English and Hindi) - with author bio added

CaravanBpl
CaravanBpl / 6 yrs ago /
  29

Some short stories of Manto 

Suggest read brief intro to author too (placed at end of the stories below)
 
Value of Ignorance (Bekhabri ka Faida)
The trigger was pressed; the bullet shot out of the barrel. A man looking through his window collapsed on the spot. The trigger was pressed a second time. Another shot fired.
The water carrier's water-bag burst. He too collapsed. His blood, mixed with water, started flowing on the road.
The third shot. This time it was off target. The bullet simply went through a damp wall.
The fourth bullet hit the back of an elderly woman. She died instantly--without a scream.
Nobody was killed. Nobody was injured. That was the fifth and sixth bullet.
The man was enraged. Suddenly he spotted a child sprinting across the road. He turned his pistol in his direction.
'What are you doing?' his companion said.
'You have no rounds to fire.'
'You keep quiet! How would that little child know?'
 

A Warning
 Khabardaar
The rioters wrestled hard with the landlord to drag him out of the house. He stood up, brushed his clothes and told them: 'Kill me for all I care. But I warn you not to touch my money - not a paisa‘
 

Fifty-Fifty
Taqseem
One of them fancied a large wooden box. It was heavy. He could not move it an inch.
The other, having failed to find anything useful, extended a helping hand. 'May I help?' 'Yes,' came the answer.
The man who was unable to play his hands on any worthwhile object moved the box with his strong hands and placed it on his back with one mighty heave.
Both stepped out.
The box was indeed very heavy. The man carrying it was weighed down. His legs caved in. But the prospect of reward kept him going despite the physical strain.
The man was had spotted the box was, in comparison, weak. He placed his hands firmly on the box, assuring himself that it was his. When the two reached a safe destination, the man carrying the box placed it on the floor. 'So, what is my share?' he asked.
'One-fourth.'
'This is too little.' 'I don't think so. I think it is too much. I was the one who found the box.'
'Right. But who has carried this heavy load all the way?'
'Do you agree to fifty-fifty?'  'Very well. Open.'
The box was opened. Out came a man with a sword in his hand. He cut the two claimants into four.


Jelly
At six in the morning, the man selling ice from a pushcart next to the petrol pump was stabbed to death. His body lay on the road until seven, while water kept falling on it in steady driblets from the melting ice.
At quarter past seven, the police took his body. The ice and blood stayed on the road.
A tonga rode past. The child noticed the coagulated blood on the road, pulled at his mother's sleeve and said, 'Look, ma, jelly'


Courtesy: archives of OUTLOOK www.outlookindia.com from the 1997 Independence Day Special edition

PS: Reposted as Independence Day 2008 Special

PPS: Hindi versions of 5 stories given below
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प्रस्तुत है उनकी पाँच लघु कहानियाँ -

बेख़बरी का फ़ायदा

लबलबी दबी – पिस्तौल से झुँझलाकर गोली बाहर निकली.
खिड़की में से बाहर झाँकनेवाला आदमी उसी जगह दोहरा हो गया.
लबलबी थोड़ी देर बाद फ़िर दबी – दूसरी गोली भिनभिनाती हुई बाहर निकली.
सड़क पर माशकी की मश्क फटी, वह औंधे मुँह गिरा और उसका लहू मश्क के पानी में हल होकर बहने लगा.
लबलबी तीसरी बार दबी – निशाना चूक गया, गोली एक गीली दीवार में जज़्ब हो गई.
चौथी गोली एक बूढ़ी औरत की पीठ में लगी, वह चीख़ भी न सकी और वहीं ढेर हो गई.
पाँचवी और छठी गोली बेकार गई, कोई हलाक हुआ और न ज़ख़्मी.
गोलियाँ चलाने वाला भिन्ना गया.
दफ़्तन सड़क पर एक छोटा-सा बच्चा दौड़ता हुआ दिखाई दिया.
गोलियाँ चलानेवाले ने पिस्तौल का मुहँ उसकी तरफ़ मोड़ा.
उसके साथी ने कहा : “यह क्या करते हो?”
गोलियां चलानेवाले ने पूछा : “क्यों?”
“गोलियां तो ख़त्म हो चुकी हैं!”
“तुम ख़ामोश रहो....इतने-से बच्चे को क्या मालूम?”

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करामात

लूटा हुआ माल बरामद करने के लिए पुलिस ने छापे मारने शुरु किए.
लोग डर के मारे लूटा हुआ माल रात के अंधेरे में बाहर फेंकने लगे,
कुछ ऐसे भी थे जिन्होंने अपना माल भी मौक़ा पाकर अपने से अलहदा कर दिया, ताकि क़ानूनी गिरफ़्त से बचे रहें.
एक आदमी को बहुत दिक़्कत पेश आई. उसके पास शक्कर की दो बोरियाँ थी जो उसने पंसारी की दूकान से लूटी थीं. एक तो वह जूँ-तूँ रात के अंधेरे में पास वाले कुएँ में फेंक आया, लेकिन जब दूसरी उसमें डालने लगा ख़ुद भी साथ चला गया.
शोर सुनकर लोग इकट्ठे हो गये. कुएँ में रस्सियाँ डाली गईं.
जवान नीचे उतरे और उस आदमी को बाहर निकाल लिया गया.
लेकिन वह चंद घंटो के बाद मर गया.
दूसरे दिन जब लोगों ने इस्तेमाल के लिए उस कुएँ में से पानी निकाला तो वह मीठा था.
उसी रात उस आदमी की क़ब्र पर दीए जल रहे थे.

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ख़बरदार

बलवाई मालिक मकान को बड़ी मुश्किलों से घसीटकर बाहर लाए.
कपड़े झाड़कर वह उठ खड़ा हुआ और बलवाइयों से कहने लगा :
“तुम मुझे मार डालो, लेकिन ख़बरदार, जो मेरे रुपए-पैसे को हाथ लगाया.........!”

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हलाल और झटका

“मैंने उसकी शहरग पर छुरी रखी, हौले-हौले फेरी और उसको हलाल कर दिया.”
“यह तुमने क्या किया?”
“क्यों?”
“इसको हलाल क्यों किया?”
"मज़ा आता है इस तरह."
“मज़ा आता है के बच्चे.....तुझे झटका करना चाहिए था....इस तरह. ”
और हलाल करनेवाले की गर्दन का झटका हो गया.

(शहरग - शरीर की सबसे बड़ी शिरा जो हृदय में मिलती है)

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घाटे का सौदा

दो दोस्तों ने मिलकर दस-बीस लड़कियों में से एक चुनी और बयालीस रुपये देकर उसे ख़रीद लिया.
रात गुज़ारकर एक दोस्त ने उस लड़की से पूछा : “तुम्हारा नाम क्या है? ”
लड़की ने अपना नाम बताया तो वह भिन्ना गया : “हमसे तो कहा गया था कि तुम दूसरे मज़हब की हो....!”
लड़की ने जवाब दिया : “उसने झूठ बोला था!”
यह सुनकर वह दौड़ा-दौड़ा अपने दोस्त के पास गया और कहने लगा : “उस हरामज़ादे ने हमारे साथ धोखा किया है.....हमारे ही मज़हब की लड़की थमा दी......चलो, वापस कर आएँ.....!”

(प्रकाशक की अनुमति से राजकमल प्रकाशन के दस्तावेज़ से साभार)

Hindi Stories courtesy: http://www.bbc.co.uk/hindi/entertainment/story/2005/05/050511_manto_shortstories.shtml
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About Manto (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saadat_Hasan_Manto)

Saadat Hasan ‘Manto' (Urdu: ‏‏سعادت حسن منٹو) (May 11, 1912January 18, 1955) was a Pakistani Urdu short story writer, most known for his Urdu short stories , 'Bu' (Odor), 'Khol Do' (Open It), 'Thanda Gosht' (Cold Meat), and his magnum opus, Toba Tek Singh' (a telefilm on it was shown on Doordarshan some years back)

He 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

He was tried for obscenity half-a-dozen times, thrice before and thrice after independence in Pakistan, but never convicted. Some of his works have been translated in other languages.

Combining psychoanalysis with human behaviour, he was arguably one of the best short story tellers of the 20th century, and one of the most controversial as well. When it comes to chronicling the collective madness that prevailed in the Indian subcontinent, during and post the Partition of India in 1947, no other writer comes close to the oeuvre of Saadat Hasan Manto [3][4].

Since he started his literary career translating works of literary giants, like Victor Hugo, Oscar Wilde and many Russian masters like Chekov and Gorky, their collective influence made him search for his own moorings. This search resulted in his first story, Tamasha, based on the Jallianwala Bagh massacre at Amritsar [5]. Though his earlier works influenced by the progressive writers of his times [6] [4] showed a marked leftist and socialist leanings, his later work progressively became stark in portraying the darkness of the human psyche, as humanist values progressively declined around the Partition. So much so that his final works that came out in the dismal social climate of post-partition Indian subcontinent and his own financial struggles reflected an innate sense of human impotency towards darkness that prevailed in the larger society, cultivating in satirism that verged on dark comedy, as seen in his final great work, Toba Tek Singh [7], that not just showed a direct influence of his own stay in a veritable mental asylum, but also a reflection of collective madness that he saw in the ensuing decade of his life. To add to it, his numerous court cases and societal rebukes, deepened his cynical view of society , from which he felt ever so isolated [8] No part of human existence remain untouched or taboo for him, he sincerely brought out stories of prostitutes and pimps alike, just as he highlighted the subversive sexual slavery of the women of his times [9]. To many contemporary women writers, his language far from being obscene brought out the women of times in realism, seen never before, and provided them with the human dignity they long deserved [10]. Unlike his fellow luminaries, he never indulged in didacticism or romanticised his character, nor offered any judgement on his characters. No matter how macabre or immoral they might seem, he simply presented the characters in a realistic light, and left the judgement on to the reader's eyes. This allows his works to be interpreted in a myriad ways, depending on the viewpoint of the reader. They would appear sensationalist or prurient to one, while exceedingly human to another. Yet it was this very non-judgemental and rather unhindered truism of his pen that put him in an opposite camp frmo the media censors, social prejudices and the legal system of his times, so much so that he remained banned for many years and lost out on many opportunities to earn a healthy living. Throughout the Indian subcontinent he is still known for his scathing insight into the human behaviour as well as revelation of the macabre animalistic nature of an enraged subcontinent, that stands out amidst the brevity of his prose [3].

He is often compared with D. H. Lawrence, and like Lawrence he also wrote about the topics considered social taboos in Indo-Pakistani Society. His topics range from the socio-economic injustice prevailing in pre- and post- colonial subcontinent, to the more controversial topics of love, sex, incest, prostitution and the typical hypocrisy of a traditional subcontinental male. In dealing with these topics, he doesn't take any pains to conceal the true state of the affair - although his short stories are often intricately structured, with vivid satire and a good sense of humour. In chronicling the lives and tribulations of the people living in lower depths of the human existence, no writer of 20th century, came close to Manto [11]. His concerns on the socio-political issues, from local to global level are revealed in his series, Letters to Uncle Sam, and those to Pandit Nehru [3]. On his writing he often commented, "If you find my stories dirty, the society you are living in is dirty. With my stories, I only expose the truth" [12].

Manto's works Online (links available on wikipaedia)

 

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CaravanBpl / / 5 yrs ago
CaravanBpl

Thanks Mubin - I'd suggest you post those stories in your own blog & I'll update my blog giving the link to your posting// regards ~CB


M .Mubin / / 5 yrs ago
M .Mubin

Thanks you just give 5 Short Storeis I had near about 25 Short Storeis of Manto in Urdu & Hindi Script if you like to give it on this site write me.


Gopala / / 6 yrs ago
Gopala

thank you


palahali / / 6 yrs ago
palahali

caravan bpl thanks for manto's stories. reagrds


Aditi Ray / / 6 yrs ago
Aditi Ray

hi harsh,

i had read a few translations of manto, long time ago. your blog refreshed my memory, thank you. his writing was indeed timeless in character. 

aditi


sreenivasarao s / / 6 yrs ago
sreenivasarao s

dear cb,
long years back , i read (in translation) and liked immensely the urdu short stories by ismat chugtai, munto, krishna chander and rajendra singh bedi. they were immensely readable. (i think some plays were telecast on dd, in its earlier days, based on those stories.)
though munto’s stories were written half a century ago, there is a quality of timelessness about them; because he writes about human failures, helplessness, greed and the overall wretchedness of our existence. his style was incisive and cut through the heart of the readers. he never handed down sermons nor indulged in romanticizing his characters, nor did he judge them. it was however his women characters that stood out; he provided them with the human dignity they long deserved; and very few of his contemporaries did that
i particularly liked the nuthouse story of toba tek singh, a biting satire on the artificial and thoughtless dismemberment of the indian subcontinent. the radcliffe line  that trisected india was drawn by sir cyril radcliffe in a great hurry and in such a ridiculously  haphazard manner. radcliffe had never visited india; and was totally ignorant of the topography. he took such a casual view that no matter where he drew the line – right or wrong- a mass of people were bound to suffer. the only requirement asked of him was that he should be done with the bloody line - post haste. that he managed to accomplish.
the confusion and chaos that prevailed on either side of the line,  in or outside the nuthouses, as pictured in the story, was no exaggeration.  
the so called crazier guy who climbed up to  the treetop  and insisted on staying there; and after being  coaxed to come down;  and who  embraced  his hindu and sikh friends, distraught at the idea that they would leave him and go to india – was one with a heart , crazy or not.
the sad saga and the plight of toba tek singh symbolize the disaster and the wretchedness of partition. the wry irony and the heart wrenching pain are just a thin line apart.
it asks the fundamental question who is the crazy one, truly?
thank you for the post.
 
regards
 


N K Ravi / / 6 yrs ago
N K Ravi

very good reading indeed ravi.


S Bera / / 6 yrs ago
S Bera

the stories are extremely simple but deeply twisted in meaning. thanks for bringing out these wonderful works of manto. regards, s. bera


g_madhuri / / 6 yrs ago
g_madhuri

wow. nice stories. i did not know about manto before. thanks for the info and the wiki links. i tried reading in hindi but realized that reading skills have gone real bad :-) it has been a long time that i read some thing in hindi. i do read hindi poetry here at sulekha once in a while.

will come back and read the hindi version once again aaram se :-)

cheers,
madhuri


Girdhar Gopal / / 6 yrs ago
Girdhar Gopal

thank you harsh for again reminding me of sadat hasan manto: he was a genius in short story writing: an indian guy de maupassant( i call him an indian because he was born an indian and in his short life he appeared to regret the creation of pakistan). i read his 'my saheb' about his interview of jinnah's driver. it was a revealing interview of the kind of cold fish jinnah was. no wonder he created a misbegotten state that killed  of all its minorities and now is killing off its muslims.
rgds, girdhar 


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