Friday, March 14, 2014

IS CREATIVITY LINKED TO RESTLESSNESS ? WHAT COULD BE THE REASONS FOR SADAT HASAN MANTO’S RESTLESSNESS ?


                                                                           


IS CREATIVITY LINKED TO RESTLESSNESS ? WHAT COULD BE THE REASONS FOR SADAT HASAN MANTO’S RESTLESSNESS ?

Is there a link between creativity and restlessness ? Restlessness is starkly visible in almost all the works of sadat Hassan Manto . And Manto passes on a small amount of his restlessness to his readers as well? And this passing of restlessness by a writer may also be called as "coming under his spell " or" Getting Influenced "by his work. That puts Manto in the category of some great writers that include Camus , Kafka and Maupassant .

I have quite often thought about this Creative restlessness. And in Manto’s case , I believe , his particular family circumstances might have led towards the development of this restlessness . His heavy drinking  also aggravated his mental distress . We also know that Manto suffered from such symptoms of anxiety and depression as would need a fair amount of clinical diagnosis presently. His wife SAFIA tried to attend to it. She once got him admitted to a mental hospital .
As a young child ,Manto was afraid of his  father but he also idealized him . This induced a sense of fear in his personality. Accordingly we find that most of the male characters in his stories are so to say cruel  or lacking compassion . Could it be a result of the fear of his father ? But then look at his women ; Even if they are prostitutes or housewives, they possesses more nerve and resolve .He presents them with compassion and care. This could be due to love and respect for his mother who was a kind and compassionate lady . .  Perhaps this clash of parental temperaments could be responsible for the development of   restlessness in Manto’s personality .

Having said so , sometimes i am also led to believe that Manto , at times ,comes up as an exception in this analysis as well. It is a well known fact that his creative genius remained intact inspite of the worst bouts of his restlessness coupled with mental illness especially after 1951. He suffered from Hallucinations and had anxiety Neurosis and depression as well. And during the last days of life, he often turned sick on account of liquor abuse. But during this period also he kept writing with verve and intensity, may be  for a bottle of liquor . He wrote so many of his literary masterpieces even during this period ..

I quote Manto to conclude this brief post

"If humanity could have listened to the exhortations that stealing or lying is bad, then one prophet would have been enough. But the list of Prophets is large…We writers are no prophets, whatever we understand, true or false, we present to our readers; we do not insist that the reader should accept it as the only truth …… we speak of the malady, but we do not write out prescriptions."


( Autar Mota 14.03.2014 )

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