Saadat Hasan Manto was a controversial writer of his times. Like a professional surgeon, he dissected the human psyche and laid bare pus, blood, lymph and flesh without covering them with artistic dressings. In the process, he had his share of acquaintance with shady aspects of human life.
One of the forerunners of modern Urdu short-story writing, Manto's works stand out in the horizon of works on Partition. The images he drew stand frozen even after six decades. His story on the pitiful state of post-colonial jail life reminds us of the thousands of undertrials languishing in Indian jails for proven or unproven, often petty and speculative, crimes serving terms that are longer than what the crime would warrant, while people swindling huge sums of public money are given VIP treatment.
Manto's works touched the hearts of millions. His famous line “Main bazu ki gali se nikal gaya” (I walked away from the neighbouring street) speaks volumes of the tragedy that accompanied Partition. Thanda Gosht, Mishtek and many more bring a human touch to the realities of life.