Author: Saadat Hasan Manto
ISBN/UPC (if available): N\A
Translated from the Urdu, this book carries unforgettable reminiscences about the eccentric, glamorous, yet angst-ridden Hindi film world of the 1940s.
Saadatasan Manto, one of the greatest story writers of the Urdu language, was also a film journalist and story-writer for the Hindi film industry in Bombay. As an insider he was privy to the most private moments of the men and women who have dazzled generations of audiences.
In this series of sketches, Ashok Kumar, the screen idol of yore, emerges as a shy, yet brilliant actor, forever looking to fell the eager advances of his female fans; Nargis comes across as just another young girl looking for companionship among her peers before she steps on the ladder that will forever take her away from the comforts of an ordinary middle-class life; and Shyam - - the dashing, handsome hero - - is portrayed as a straightforward, flirtatious young man pining for the woman he loves.
Manto also describes in detail the obsessions of Sitara Devi; the unfulfilled desires of Paro Devi; and the intriguing twists and turns, which transform Neena Devi from an ordinary housewife into a pawn in the hands of film companies. He writes with relish about the bunglings of the comedian V H Desai and the incredible dedication of Nawab Kashmiri to the art of acting. There are also stories about the rise of Nur Jehan as the greatest singer of her times; and various peccadilloes of the musician Rafiq Ghaznavi.
With subjects ranging from film journalism to the sexual eccentricities of these stars, Manto brings to life a generation with his characteristic verve and honesty.
Khalid Hasan, the Srinagar-born Pakistani writer and journalist, has published over twenty-five books, including eight collections of his own writings. Three of his translations of Saadat Hasan Manto's stories - - Kingdom's end, Partition: Sketches and Stories, Mottled Dawn -- have helped to bring the writer's work to international attention. Another of his translated works is Hotel Moenjodaro, a collection of the stories of Ghulam Abbas.
Hasan currently heads a TV network in Islamabad, having earlier been the Washington correspondent of The Nation, Lahore.