The Ardeshir Cowasjee Center for Writing (ACCW) conducted a dramatic reading of Manto’s selected works
May 2, 2019: The ACCW conducted a dramatic reading of some of
Manto’s works. Different pieces were read by a number of
students followed by a discussion led by Coordinator ACCW Ms.
The session began with a general discussion on Manto and the controversy regarding his works. Attendees shared their stories on how they were first introduced to his works and how much of a taboo the society believes Manto is. One of the students talked about how fascinated she was by Manto because it was the first time she had come across an Urdu writer who was so open.
A short story, titled Kholdo was read by an SSLA student Aisha Qureshi. The story was about a man in search of his daughter, and his reliance on a group of men who swore they would find her. The story showed a different perspective of the Muslims and the society in general; destroying the so called hero myth and showing the beastly side of humans. A second story was read by Ms. Tahira titled Toba Tek Singh which made use of juxtaposition and tried to capture what partition meant for different people. The piece was as chaotic as the partition was.
The session was wrapped up after the two pieces were discussed and people gave their interpretations of the stories. One student pointed out how Manto focused mainly on the sufferings of women and things that seem to have been erased from history. The reading session was a great way to introduce Manto to an audience, who had been curious about the writer but had never read any of his stories.