Mahmood Farooqui actually found the book Tilism-e-Hoshruba, from where the fantastic tales they recite are taken.
Here were two young men sitting on a dais wearing white clothes with a white topi and bowls of water on the sides, as they performed Dastangoi, as explained in the opening by Mahmood Farooqui, who is responsible for the light of day this ancient form of storytelling has seen.
Dastangoi started by Mahmood Farooqui and Anusha Rizvi with Danish Hussain was a mind-blowing experience. Here were two young men sitting on a dais wearing white clothes with a white topi and bowls and glasses of water on the sides, as they performed Dastangoi as explained in the opening by Mahmood Farooqui, who is responsible for the light of day this ancient form of storytelling, has seen. He actually found the book Tilism-e-Hoshruba from where the fantastic tales they recite are taken. Now this is not a male domain anymore, with women and girls also becoming Dastangos.
This recitation is in chaste Urdu with some Farsi words, Mahmood Farooqui has also composed a story called Dastan-e-Sedition in Hindustani performed by Rana Pratap Senger and Rajesh Kumar at the event in the Stein Auditorium in the Indian Habitat Centre. These two performers were a part of the initiating Dastangoi presented by M. Farooqui and D. Hussain. They presented ‘Dastan-e-Sedition’ as the ending performance at which they are very good and the others were also efficient. Shadab was excellent and made a very good Dastangoi. He touched the hearts and minds of many in the audience. His description of the girl’s beauty was through.
The first performance was by Nusrat Ansari and Ainee Farooqui and the second performance was by Shadab Hussain and Meera Rizvi, who performed “Dastan Amar Ayyar ka Hairat bankar lo-he tillisim-e ka sab raz hasil kar lena aur Bark Firangi ka chakma dena Afrasiyaab ko” and Dastan Mehtab Jadoo ki’ respectively. The nuances of the language and the correct pronunciation of the words used was ideal and the more people who learn this art will benefit by it. This seems to be the desire of new Dastangoi as seen in the last two years. The roles are not defined in a Dastangoi any of the performers can take up the narration at whatever points he/she likes, for example Meers Rizvi was playing Mehtab for a while and suddenly Shadab took over. In the first Dastangoi Nusrat was playing Afra Shiyaab to Ainee’s Hairat and suddenly they exchanged roles.
They are very good at what they were doing. Some feel they are on stage and that gives them a kick others are training under Mahmood Farroqui for other reasons. Nusrat liked the language Urdu and wanted to learn more about the language and how to speak it correctly and promote the art form or Dastangoi and so she has been working on this project for about two years. This can be a very good political tool for messages and for ideological purposes as was seen in Dastan-e-Sedition.
The writer is a theatre personality and a well-known critic