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“Thanda Gosht and Other Stories”

March 9, 2017

Saarthak Productions presents “Thanda Gosht and Other Stories”

Compiled & Directed by: Deevas Gupta & Shaurya Singh
Written by: Saadat Hasan Manto

“If you find my stories dirty, the society you are living in is dirty.”
-Saadat Hasan Manto

Saadat Manto’s most controversial play about the partition, titled “Thanda Gosht” (“Cold Meat”), is a bold, hard hitting piece about the horrors of human darkness: Ishwar Singh, a Sikh recently returned from a round of partition killing, can’t bring himself to make love to his mistress. The mistress suspects him of infidelity—why else can’t he get it up?

“Thanda Gosht” was published in a literary magazine in March 1950, and the magazine was immediately banned.

“Sexual obscenity is the basic theme of this story which focuses on and is obsessed with a sexually explicit encounter between a man and a woman. I am satisfied after carefully reading the story that it offends the morality of the reader and the same goes against the settled moral standards of our society… In view of the above, I hold Saadat Hassan Manto guilty of circulating an obscene piece of writing and sentence him to three months rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rupees 300 under section 292 of the Indian Penal Code [IPC].”

Thus wrote A. M. Saeed, Magistrate First Class, Lahore, in his verdict at the end of the criminal trial of Manto and a group of others for having circulated “obscene” material in the form of a short story titled Thanda Gosht. Manto was finally acquitted by the court of sessions in Lahore.

True to his word, 60 years after Saadat Hasan’s death, Manto continues to haunt us with a strange and morbid relish. Though his working life was cut short by an addiction to alcohol, leading to his death at 43, Manto produced 20 collections of short stories, five collections of radio dramas, three of essays, two of sketches, one novel and a clutch of film scripts. He wrote about sex and desire, alcoholics and prostitutes, and he was charged with obscenity six times. In his journalism, he predicted the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan. But it is for his stories of partition that he is best remembered: as the greatest chronicler of this most savage episode in the region’s history. His writing is filled with unflinching honesty and iridescent vigour that not only portrays a violent, brutal and turbulent chapter of India, but bares the very nakedness of human nature. His fierce candour – something we see so little of in contemporary writers – subjected him to much ridicule, hardship and persecution. These stories are about us, about who we are, and who we cannot hide from.

Saarthak Productions presents a tribute to Saadat Hasan Manto. The pure simplicity of language and honest depiction of the incidents and experiences, makes him an exceptional Indian writer in Hidustani language. We invite you to come and revisit ‘Saadat Hasan Manto’ in all his splendour.

Saarthak – a dream, a journey, a compilation of instances picked from pages with folded corners of your favourite book- life. Saarthak – stories beyond ‘Once upon a time’, performances vibrant with imagination. Saarthak – a feeling of coming home after a long expedition.

A theatre production company that offers a creative and collaborative platform to theatre artists willing to showcase their talent and express through the medium of plays, skits and readings. Saarthak evolved with an idea of bringing meaningful art work to life thereby creating a platform for all those who aspire to do quality theatre. At Saarthak, we are constantly striving for the development of theatre industry in various languages and cultures. Their objective is to bring together theatre lovers, theatre goers and theatre artists thereby contributing our passionate bit to the art of dramatics.

Deevas Gupta – He is a poet, writer and an aspiring actor on his path of self exploration. Deevas Gupta exploring his love for theatre and acting surfaced through writing, primarily in Hindustani, is a co founder of Saarthak. Deevas Gupta shares his love with stage and dreams of meaningful contribution to theatre either through his writing or acting.

Shaurya Singh – He has been a writer, poet and director since almost 10 years and worked closely with number of eminent movie and theatre personalities. A trained film maker, enthusiastic director, fine actor, an intelligent writer and co-founder of Saarthak, Shaurya has a keen eye for detailing and shares is his own set of emotions with theatre and has been writing in English and Hindi.

Cast: Chandrama Deshmukh/Deevas Gupta/Vidyashanker Mishra

Age Limit: 16 years and above
Language: Hindustani
Entry: Rs.200/- and available on

Sunday | 12th March 2017 | 4.30 PM and 7.30 PM

Lahe Lahe,
no. 2906/2907,
HAL 2nd Stage,
80 feet road, Indiranagar,
Kodihalli layout,
Bengaluru- 560008

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