When Manto’s centenary was observed in 2012, there was a varied and extensive contribution by writers, publishing houses, theatre groups, online platforms and newspapers to present their works as a homage to the one of the most prominent writers of the subcontinent. Surveying the extensive canvas, Mavra Tanveer observes in her paper “Sound and Silence: Manto’s Radio Drama and the Critical Deficit”:
“While these efforts are highly commendable for their spirit of celebrating Manto in different formats, none showcases a single drama out of Manto’s extensive oeuvre. However Zambeel Dramatic Readings recreated three of Manto’s comic radio plays Aao Chori Karein, Aao Kahani Likhein and Aao Taash Khaylein. The power of the dialogic interplay between the same three characters in each situational comedy was highlighted with ‘musical tracks, [and additionally] the sounds for every story were generated live during the reading, very much in keeping with the tradition of early radio drama.’ [Zambeel Dramatic Readings, 2012]. In this centennial year, Zambeel’s production of these plays is the only instance of a focused project on Manto’s radio drama and the aural aesthetics of the genre itself.”
Tanveer also mentions an All India Radio progress report from 1939 that mentions Aao Kahani Likhein as one of the most successful productions.
Zambeel presents Aao Manto Sunein in 2013 with an additional fourth additional play Aao Baat tau Suno. (Saturday 23rd August 2013).
Click to hear sound clips from Aao Chori Karein and Aao Taash Khaylein and Aao Baat tau Suno.
Mavra Tanveer, “Sound and Silence: Manto’s Radio Drama and the Critical Deficit”, The Maya Tree. Liberal Arts Review, 3 (2012): 46-47