Some Lesser Known Facts About Safia Manto
- Did Safia Manto smoke?: Not Known
- Did Safia Manto drink alcohol?: Not Known
- Safia had Kashmiri origins; just like her husband Manto.
- Both Safia and Manto were born on May 11 (Safia in 1916, and Manto in 1912).
- In contrast to Manto, Safia was simple to a fault and was self-evasive and shy.
- Safia and Manto had an arranged marriage in 1936, about which Manto wrote a whole essay, titled, Meri Shaadi (My Wedding).
- When Manto was working in Delhi at the All India Radio, they lost their first child, Arif. The incident had devastated them, but also brought them closer as they went on to have 3 daughters.
- Manto would often read out his stories to Safia and take her to the mushairas and public readings.
- Manto insisted Safia to call him by his first name, an absolute blasphemy at the time. So, Safia decided to address him as Sa’saab (a short for Saadat Sahab).
- Manto was often after making Safia a modern lady and would bring modern expensive sarees for her. He would also do her hair and iron her sarees.
- After India’s partition in 1947, Saadat Manto decided to move to Pakistan. It was a tough time for both, Manto and Safia.
- Manto’s alcoholism and repeated court cases relating to the alleged obscenity in Manto’s stories added fuel to the fire.
- According to sources, Safia was often the first reader of Manto’s stories and Manto considered her thoughts into his stories. Manto also published a short story ‘Hameed Aur Hameeda’ in her name.
- When Manto died in 1955, their daughters Nighat, Nuzhat, and Nusrat were 5, 7 and 9-years old respectively.
- Safia raised her daughters by herself as she hardly ever received any financial aid from the government after Manto’s death.
- Safia was a content woman as she had no materialistic aspirations, and like Manto, Safia will never be forgotten.
- In the 2018 Bollywood film titled ‘Manto, ‘ Rasika Dugal played Safia’s role. The film was directed by Nandita Das and Nawazuddin Siddiqui played the role of Saadat Hasan Manto.
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