For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“Toba Tek Singh”

Saadat Hasan Manto

Excerpt

Nobody knew what transpired in India, but so far as Pakistan was concerned this news created quite a stir in the lunatic asylum at Lahore, leading to all sorts of funny developments. A Muslim lunatic, a regular reader of the fiery Urdu daily Zamindar, when asked what Pakistan was, reflected for a while and then replied, “Don't you know? A place in India known for manufacturing cut-throat razors.” Apparently satisfied, the friend asked no more questions.

Likewise, a Sikh lunatic asked another Sikh, “Sardarji, why are we being deported to India? We don't even know their language.” The Sikh gave a knowing smile. “But I know the language of Hindostoras,” he replied. “These bloody Indians, the way they strut about!”

One day while taking his bath, a Muslim lunatic yelled, “Pakistan Zindabad!” with such force that he slipped, fell down on the floor and was knocked unconscious.

We read it in Selected Stories.