Annual of Urdu Studies, v. 2, 1982 p. 11.


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Saadat Hasan Manto

IN THIS MAELSTROM (A Melodrama)

Translated by Muhammad U. Memon, Wayne R. Husted, and M. Azam Dadi

Characters:

BEGUM, the mother

AMJAD (a cripple), and

MAJEED (a healthy and robust youth), the Begum's sons

SAEEDA, AMJAD's beautiful new wife

ASGHARI, a maid

KAREEM, and

GHULAM MUHAMMAD, servants

KAMAL, a chauffeur**

ACT I

(A room in Nigar Villa. Its beautifully paned windows open onto hilly slopes which extend as far as the eye can see until they blend into the greyish-blue sky. The windows' silk curtains are rustling in the gentle morning breeze. It appears from the furnishings that the room is being converted into a bridal suite. On the right near the windows is a teak bed. In a corner near it is a small side-table on which rest a crystal decanter, a goblet, and an alarm clock. Back aways two servants are arranging the cushions on a crimson velvet sofa. At a little distance a young maid, pretty in a plain sort of way, is trying to rearrange some items on the mantlepiece. A virginal silence, so delicate that it would lose its innocence at the slightest touch, pervades the room. The sound of wood slowly tapping on the tiles outside is heard. The three servants react slightly, then resume their respective duties. A dignified middle-aged woman enters through the door, propelling herself on crutches. She scrutinizes the room and appears satisfied.)

*This play is taken from Nuqus (Manto Number), Nos. 49-50, pp. 177-201.

**Manto does not include him among the dramatis personae. 11


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