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Manto & Dostoyevsky: Two authors, two countries, two eras and two stories

Author: Adlof Verma
by Adlof Verma
Posted: Aug 09, 2016

Four thousand kilometers, 91 years and two extreme social conditions--define the difference between Saadat Hasan Manto and Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

One was born in early 19th Century in Moscow the other was born in early 20th century in Samrala, now in Pakistan.

Both had different experiences of life, both lived in different eras and different social conditions.

But as it is rightly said, art and feelings are free from time, culture and region. I recently or you can say accidently happened to chance upon one book each of these authors simultaneously. Most amazingly I only read one story of Manto and then tried my hands upon a story by Dostoyevsky. Both the books have great collection of stories and any one can buy books online from any of the online bookstores.

I read ‘Dhuaan’ a short story by Manto before reading 'A little hero' by Dostoyevsky. Both the stories are written in different time zones and different social conditions. One talks about the aristocratic Russian society of early 19th century the other revolves around the 20th Century Pakistan.

Teenage boys are the heroes of both the stories and in both the books through these stories, the authors have tried to and have been successful in penning down the unsolved psychological questions of children of young age. The similarities were so striking that I was almost startled.

In Manto's story he talks about a young boy who lives with his parents and an elder sister. The boy is faced with sexual questions, feelings, which his innocent mind is not able to dechipher. Like at one point of time, the child's cricket ball accidentally goes into his sister's room, boy rushes in, only to find his sister without a blouse with her female friend, startled, he feels something but is not able to understand. At one point of time, the boy while massaging the thighs of his sister feels something, rather enjoys something but is not able to understand what he is feeling or enjoying.

When we talk about the Dostoyevsky's Little Hero, he too is faced with same conditions at a well off relatives place when he is subjected to festivities there. The kid meets a young beautiful but melancholic woman there and feels something, what he never knows or understands. Escaping the eyes of other people, he tries to watch that woman every time but why he never understands. However, the Hero's actions are noticed by others and the hero faces embarrassment, but here too, deep down he is not able to understand why is he embarrassed, he is just embarrassed.

Reading these books was not only a fun but it also strengthened my perspective that art makes no differentiation. Reading these books was a great fun. Buy books online and enjoy reading.

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Author: Adlof Verma

Adlof Verma

Member since: Feb 15, 2016
Published articles: 3

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