Ankit Chadha, a writer and storyteller, has been working to revive Dastangoi since 2010.
Ankit Chadha, a writer and storyteller, has been working to revive Dastangoi since 2010. His writing varies from biographical accounts of personalities like Khusrau, Kabir, Rahim, Dara Shikoh and Majaaz Lakhnavi; to modern folk tales on corporate culture, Internet and mobile technology. Ankit also works for young audiences, and has worked on Urdu storytelling of children’s classics including Alice in Wonderland and The Little Prince. He is the author of the national award winning book for children, My Gandhi Story and the recently released Amir Khusrau — The Man in Riddles.
When did the idea for the book germinate After exploring Amir Khusrau in dastangoi, film and music for years, I realised how the poet remained a riddle for many. Adults asked me for a book that introduced the poet to a layman. Kids, I discovered on various school visits, had not even heard his name. That’s when my editor Nimmy and I came up with the idea of this book.
Which genre draws you the most as a reader and a writer As a reader, I like reading historical non-fiction and poetry. As a writer, I am happy being a storyteller who traverses between mythology and history. Lives and legends of Sufi poets remain an inspiration.
One fictional character close to your heart and why The Little Prince. I haven’t come across a more lovable and innocent seeker.