Even as Saadat Hasan Manto's memories seem to have faded, the Urdu author's famous short stories, once scorned upon for 'obscenity', are finding a voice in theatrical plays in the city.
On the occasion of his birth centenary, Ideal Drama and Entertainment Academy (IDEA), will host a series of plays titled, 'Manto ka Deewanapan', from May 13 at St Anthony's Institute in Bandra. The group will continue to showcase two plays on Manto's works every month.
"Not many have been able to appreciate the contributions made by geniuses such as Manto. I wish to keep his work alive through theatre," said Mujeeb Khan, head, IDEA.
Actor Naseeruddin Shah has played an instrumental role in kindling Manto's magic through his theatrical production 'Manto Ismat Hazir Hain' (based on the controversial works of Manto and Ismat Chughtai).
"It is Manto's cutting edge style that appealed to me," said Shah, whose group has also enacted stories such as 'Kaali Salwar' and 'Safed Jhoot'. Shah is also in talks with a university in Lahore to host the play later this year. "I am working towards making a play on my favourite Manto story, Toba Tek Singh," he added.
Kunal Kapoor, who heads Prithvi Theatre, Juhu, compared Manto to William Shakespeare and explained how the medium of theatre can help keep his works alive. "Any medium of art can serve as a voice to literature and we have moved to a time when more people would like to vizualise Manto's works on stage," said Kapoor.