December 11, 2010

My article in The Hindu

Untold stories


Dastangoi performers Mahmood Farooqui and Danish Husain on the art they are trying to popularise.
Stepping off an empty Bandra by-lane into a chaotic world of flying sorcerers and audacious thieves requires, at the very least, a surreal shift in perception. And that is one illusion of many, a tilism, as a Dastangoi performer would put it. Over four days, ace dastangos Mahmood Farooqui and Danish Husain, with their brood of storytellers-in-training, presented tales from the Tilism-e-Hoshruba and other texts at the National Centre for Performing Arts, Mumbai, as part of the first-ever Dastangoi festival.
The dastangos, dressed in white, kept the audience riveted as their voices soared above the persistent sea wind, bringing to life remorseless tricksters who behead everything in sight and spunky empresses who command an army of sorcerers.
Excerpts from a conversation with Farooqui and Husain, who have trained other people in the art for the past year.
How did the festival come about?
Mahmood: I have been working with people in Mumbai and Delhi for a year. Part of the idea behind the festival was to showcase all these new tellers. Also, all the stories have different flavours — we were able to present more stories than we ordinarily perform in a single show.


first thoughts said...

Aur aise dastan sunaya karo :P could have also focussed more on their process

Ranjana said...

they did say a few things about that, but i think the process is mostly not about articulation - it cannot be completely laid out in words - like they did this and then this and then is exactly tht - a process. and an interview is not enough to get it all!

first thoughts said...

hmm...i understand a newspaper limitations

Ranjana said...

Of course you do :D