Saadat Hasan Manto, a proud Kashmiri, was the most widely read and the most controversial short-story writer in Urdu. He was born on 11 May 1912 at Samrala in Punjab’s Ludhiana district to a family of barristers. In a literary, journalistic, radio scripting and film-writing career spread over more than two decades, he produced twenty-two collections of short stories, one novel, five collections of radio plays, three collections of essays, two collections of personal sketches and many scripts for films. He was tried for obscenity half a dozen times, thrice before and thrice 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 several months short of his forty-third birthday, in January 1955, in Lahore.