Today's Google Doodle celebrates Manto

Published 11 May, 2020 12:12pm
The illustration was created for the writer's 108th birthday by Pakistani artist, Shehzil Malik.
The illustration was created for the writer's 108th birthday by Pakistani artist, Shehzil Malik.

Google is paying homage to one of the finest Urdu writers and poets of the 20th century with his own doodle.

Today would have been Saadat Hassan Manto's 108th birth anniversary. The search engine is commemorating the day with an illustration by Pakistani artist Shehzil Malik.

A photo posted by Instagram (@instagram) on

"I'm a big fan of Manto. He is a hero to me for pushing the envelope in Pakistan through his art (which I try to do and often get in trouble) so this was the perfect assignment! His stories are dark, beautiful, brutal, honest; once you read them, you can't forget them. He used his words as a mirror to society, to speak truth to power, and would not back down in the face of intimidation," shared Malik.

Manto was a daring icon, who often wrote unapologetically about taboo topics, especially the horrors surrounding the partition of the subcontinent.

With 22 collections of short stories, 1 novel, 5 series of radio plays, 3 collections of essays and 2 collections of personal sketches, Manto set the benchmark for exemplary, progressive writing and is held in high esteem, by critics, fellow writers and fans till date.

Known for his 'controversial' content, he was tried for obscenity six times - thrice in British India before 1947, and thrice in Pakistan after.

His final work, Toba Tek Singh was a magnificent reflection of the everlasting impacts of Partition on the emotional psyche of human lives. The satire was dark, tragic, and is recognised as a brilliant piece even today.

Manto's profound impact was celebrated twice in the form of biographical films surrounding his life, once in 2015 by Sarmad Khoosat, and another in 2018 by Nandita Das unveiled at the Cannes Film Festival.

The Nishan-e-Imtiaz award winner passed away in 1955 at his residence in Lahore.