Toba Tek Singh
Director: Ketan Mehta
Cast: Pankaj Kapur, Vinay Pathak
The story takes place in one of the older asylums in undivided India. It housed patients from Hindu, Muslim and Sikh religions who were left behind by their families.
This abandonment brought them all close and forged friendships.
In this asylum, is set the story of Bhishan Singh, who for the last ten years has stayed awake and his journey from Sanity to Madness.
The story spins around what happens when he has to leave his home and how it affects his mind, manner and the choices he makes.
For literature and cinema lovers like me, the release of Toba Tek Singh movie as part of the ZEE5 Film Festival is a treat. It is based on a short story by Saadat Hasan Manto.
A 1955 satirical work on the relationship between India and Pakistan, it follows the story of a few asylum inmates who are to be transferred from Lahore to India following the Independence of Pakistan.
A hard-hitting and thought-provoking work, written and directed by Ketan Mehta, is brought to life by the very talented actors Pankaj Kapoor and Vinay Pathak. Just the trailer gave me the chills!
Saadat Hasan Manto was a Pakistani writer, playwright, and author who produced 22 collections of short stories, a novel, radio plays, and many more works – You can read more about him here.
Manto is particularly known for his stories about the Partition of India and the socio-political bend to his writings. He was a writer who didn’t sugar-coat the truth, nor glorify it, and thus, was also subjected to much ridicule to which he aptly responded: “If you find my stories dirty, the society you are living in is dirty. With my stories, I only expose the truth”.
In Toba Tek Singh, Saadat Hasan Manto dives into the chaos and turmoil which existed during the time of the partition (of India) and he showcases it in the setting of an asylum – far from a regular story setting, but hard-hitting and poignant in its portrayal of the darkness of the human psyche – An insightful study into people and human behaviour.
For someone, who was born after the partition, such stories are our only opportunity to really understand what happened and get an insight into life as it was in those times.
Personally, this quote by Manto is so powerful, and in many ways, still true!
“Hindustan had become free. Pakistan had become independent soon after its inception but man was still a slave in both these countries – slave of prejudice .. slave of religious fanaticism .. .slave of barbarity and inhumanity”.
In short, I am absolutely fascinated by the very rationality in the people we consider ‘technically’ irrational! Do watch the movie on ZEE5 and tell me what did you think? What is your feeling? Did you too walk away amazed and heartbroken like I was?
Priyanka Patwari says
Toba Tek Singh is doubtless masterpiece. I always love to read short stories.. Will definitely read this one..
I am surely gonna watch this movie on Zee5 and will let you know how I feel after watching the movie
This film festival by Zee5 seems to be a perfect treat for Indian viewers. Looking forward for this watch over this weekend.
Being Amna says
I love the quote by Manto
So true that man is still slave in both countries .. slave of religious fanaticism.. slave of brbarity and inhumanity . Will definitely watch this awesome movie
Gurjeet chhabra says
The story seems so interesting and Actor Pankaj is a great Actor ,his characters look so close to reality. I am surely going to watch it
Zee5 is really doing great. I hope it will be an amazing watch for me because Pankaj Kapoor is my fav artist and Ketan Mehta is a big name also. The story sounds interesting because I will get to know about the past history. Really we have got independence but still the situation is worst. After partition, my grandma came here in India and I heard her struggle story.
Siddhi Palande aka book_gobbler says
Zee5 concept was floated when I was with Zee and to see it being a fav of almost everyone on social is a moment of pride. I too use zee5 app almost daily to watch my fav series.
Looks like a awesome watch. Would love to watch this movie on Zee5. Zee5 is a great app to catch up all series and movies
The story looks really interesting , thought- provoking and gripping to me. I love Pankaj Kapoor’s acting in general. I would love to watch it on Zee5 . Thanks for sharing.
Princy Khurana says
this is just the kind of story, that I will love to see, Pankaj Kapoor is as such a great actor and his acting skills are mesmerizing. zee 5 is surely a great app to catch all the entertainment fun.
Would love to check something as rich & eye opening as this! Thank you for the review!
Sangeeta G says
I haven’t been very active in terms of watching movies as my work has been hectic. But the quote you’ve mentioned by Manto makes me want to watch this soon.
This seems to be a interesting series. I am surely going to enjoy it a lot
Purva Bhatia says
It’s painful yet liberating to read works of writers like Manto. The harsh reality of their words in a story like this one hurts you but makes you aware of the truth. Hats off to him and the makers of this film for showing mirror to the society that’s too busy pretending something else!
Ruchi Verma says
This plot seems so interesting that I really don’t want to miss it ..will sure going to catch this …thanks a lot for sharing this
Just by reading your synopsis on this story it has gotten me interested in watching it. I am surely going to watch it and let you know what I think about it
Charu Chittwal says
Looks like a damn interesting film, would love to give it a try
Neha Jain says
Thank you for this review, I am surely going to watch this one
Papri Ganguly says
This film seems so interesting. It is definitely a must watch for everyone. Can’t wait to watch on zee5
Wow. This is a great piece of great. It sounds like a must watch. Thank you for writing in detail about the movie.
Manto’s stories are woven beautifully. With stalwarts like Pankaj Kapoor and Vinay Pathak this would definitely be a great watch.