BWW Review: EK MULAQAT MANTO SE, A Play For All Times
Ek Ek Mulaqat Manto Se, written by Saadat Hasan Manto has been a literary gem revered by discerning audiences the world over. The performance of the play upcoming this June in Mumbai is based on various articles written by Manto during his lifetime. Directed by Ashwath Bhatt, the performance is an important piece of work that needs to watched by the audiences today as the subject deals with many social reforms and their impact back in the times of partition struggle in India. The character of Manto is played by director Ashwath Bhatt himself and the performance tries to answer the penultimate question of why reforms were important back then and how they are important even now. The solo performance gives is a deep insight into the life and times of the writer and also makes us ponder why some of the most important steps that he dared take were important even though misunderstood at that time. Manto who is often called a man ahead of his times, proves through his articles enacted into a ply over and over again, his genius over presiding societal matters and how they affect the fabric of the social world we live in.
Lovers of period music have another surprise in store as Begum Akhtar's songs fill the background with a lilting melody while recreating the mood of the times gone by.
The climax as in any movie is the most conclusive part, similarly in the play the final scene, a couplet by Daag Dehalvi is bound to ignite an interest in prose even for those who may not have delved into Urdu literature ever. The director's immense research on the subject is evident from the performance as little nuances are incorporated into the performance. The director traveled to Manto's city where he spent his youth to gather important pieces about the literary giant.
All in all, the play is a not to be missed important piece of history from the sub continent and deserves a viewing.
Prithvi theatre Mumbai