Finding Manto in Mumbai

Sep 22, 2018, 09:30 IST | Dalreen Ramos

With the release of the much anticipated film, we bring you a list of places to find the legendary author's works

Finding Manto in Mumbai
Illustration/Uday Mohite

Who is a greater short story writer, Manto or God? Saadat Hasan Manto contemplated the question on the epitaph he wrote and breathed his last, aged 43 in Lahore. Little did he know that his prolific writing, where he chronicled stories of Partition, would become prophetic. After making waves at the Cannes Film Festival, the film Manto written and directed by Nandita Das, starring Nawazuddin Siddique and Rasika Dugal takes centre stage in India this weekend. And there's no better way to learn about the man than his own words. Although Manto mainly wrote in Urdu, one can find his translated works in both English and Hindi. Here are a few places worth checking out.

Kitaab Khana, Fort
The bookstore has a collection of 19 titles featuring Manto's work.
Dastavez (Hindi): A five-volume anthology of short stories, sketches, essays and plays.
Cost Rs 1,000

Thanda Gosht Aur Anya Kahaniya (Hindi)
This book features the famous short story, Thanda Gosht, outlining the communal violence of 1947, and also led to Manto being charged for obscenity.
Cost Rs 195

Why I Write
A collection of non-fiction writings by Manto for various publications.
Cost Rs 350
Call 61702276

Title Waves, Bandra
My Name is Radha; The Essential Manto
Translated By Muhammad Umar Memon, the book delves into Manto as a writer.
Cost Rs 499

Mottled Dawn: A set of 50 powerful sketches and stories detail Partition including Toba Tek Singh, his last work.
Cost Rs 299

Bombay Stories: These short stories bring the Bombay of 1930s to light, as Manto's muse.
Cost Rs 299
Call 26510841

Bombay Underground, Fort
Mootri: The short story written by Manto in 1953, and illustrated into a graphic novel by Delhi-based artist and theatre practitioner Akshay Sethi, outlines communal hatred. The book is currently out of stock but is available for reading at this library.
Call 9773361243

Urdu Kitaab Ghar, Bhiwandi
The store is a hub for Urdu works of the finest writers with customers coming in from all over the city.
Manto ke Afsane: The book is one of Manto's earliest collections of short stories.
Cost Rs 200 [Home delivery within 3-5 days]
Call 9272786541

Vivek Book Depot, Chembur
Stars From Another Sky: The Bombay Film World Of 1940s
Manto details his nostalgia for Bombay and the Hindi film industry.

Bitter Fruit: The Very Best of Saadat Hasan Manto
The collection of short stories translated by Khalid Hasan carries Manto's letters to Uncle Sam i.e the USA, as well as memories from his friends and relatives.
Cost: Rs 100 to 300 (range for all Manto books)
Call 8080047468

Also check out
Prithvi Bookshop by the Prithvi Theatre in Juhu houses an exhaustive list of books by Manto translated in English and Hindi. All his collected stories are a favourite among theatre artistes. The late writer's daughters also paid a visit to the store.
Call 26149546

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