Ah, where do I begin? It’d be cliché to say that I saw myself in the writer of this novel. But I must say it is true. He was in awe of Manto and Ghalib, just like me. He adored them both, just like me. He felt goosebumps at just the name of them, just like me.
This is the journey of my favorite book – chapter by chapter, word by word. The feelings it sparked in me. So, without further ado, let’s hop onto this bandwagon to know this mesmerizing book in detail.
The writer began with the analogy of a person wandering aimlessly and meeting something or someone unexpected and seeing fate’s hand in it, I felt as if he was going to write about me.
He went on to write the dialogue he had with Naiyar Masud Sahab, it made me skip a heartbeat. The way Naiyar Sahab related the writer’s life with the event of Karbala, made me speechless. But the point was to not give up reading this time because I took a bit of a break to gather up the courage to keep reading already, so that was not an option.
Moving forward, the poem by an unknown writer, but so deep that it can hit your deepest darkest tragic chords.
And then, there was it. When the writer unfolds that the script he had in his hands was from Saadat Hasan Manto Sahab himself. That was the moment for me to have goosebumps and I did have them, like always when I read about him or any of his work.
The way Naiyar sahab elaborated the concept of Dastaans, it reminded me of the unrequited love which never ends. Which never feels fulfillment. It keeps one longing. Forever. Forever is a long time for something to haunt you. But, I wonder, does it end when you die? Or it keeps on haunting you even after your death? Well, I still don’t have the answer to that.
And then, this chapter gave me a tiny painful giggle, when the writer mentioned the grave and tombstone of Saadat Hasan Manto Sahab. A good question though, “Me or God?” I wish we could know.
The love that Manto Sahab had for Ghalib Sahab, I wonder do I have that for them both? Maybe the intensity is not that great or else it’d driven me crazy by now. I wonder if I’ll make any mistake in encompassing how big of a deal they were. Perhaps, nothing is possible without mistakes, is it?
This trance was broken and I took off from this train of thought when I was hit by a sher/poetry verse from Mir Taqi Mir Sahab –
گلی تک تیری لایا تھا ہمیں شک
کہاں طاقت کہ وہ پھر جائے گھر تک
(My desire brought me all the way to your door, where’s the strength now to go back on my own?)
If you don’t even have a thing for literature or poetry, this verse still has the capacity to capture your heart. And it was not enough, so the writer decided to end it by telling us that from the next Chapter, the actual writing of SAADAT HASAN MANTO is beginning. The words from his hands and heart. The words in which he will tell us all about his and ghalib’s dastaan. And that’s all I was able to do for today. I wasn’t able to start this new journey today. I had to take some time off. I had to calm my nerves in order to dive deep into the ocean of Manto’s thoughts with a clear emotional and mental state. It was all I could do.
See you with the review of the next chapter from my eyes and heart.
Till then, hang in there. 🙂