“Khushiya” is from Saadat Hasan Manto’s collection BOMBAY STORIES (Vintage International). Saadat Hasan Manto, the most widely read and the most controversial short-story writer in Urdu, was born on 11 May 1912 at Sambrala in Punjab’s Ludhiana District. In a writing career spanning over two decades he produced twenty-two collections of short stories, one novel, five collections of radio plays, and various collections of essays and reminiscences. He was tried for obscenity half a dozen times, three times before and three after independence.
Some of Manto’s greatest work was produced in the last seven years of his life, a time of great financial and emotional hardship for him. He died a few months short of his forty-third birthday, in January 1955, in Lahore.
Reviewing this collection, Flavorwire wrote: It’s such a pleasure when stories in an under-translated and under-read language come out, and it’s such a treat when they turn out to be as good as Saadat Hasan Manto’s Bombay Stories. Translated from Urdu by Matt Reeck and Aftab Ahmad, the 14 stories in this collection should introduce a new generation of readers who crave stories from other parts of the world to this highly prolific and controversial writer who died at the age of 42.
“What makes the collection so exciting to read is the edginess that drips off every page: sex, drugs, prostitution; all of these things happen in Manto’s Bombay in the last days of British rule. What makes these stories shine, however, is the exemplary translation job done by Matt Reeck and Aftab Ahmad. These things combine to make Bombay Stories one of the best translated collections of fiction I’ve read in this young year.”