After a hugely acclaimed performance in September last year Dastangoi performers, Sunil Mehra and Askari Naqvi return with a dazzling new repertoire of Ismat Chugtai stories: lacerating, sharp, biting, hilarious, bittersweet and poignant in turns.
Dastangoi, a Persian form of storytelling was brought to India by the Mughals and attained great popularity in the courts of Agra, Delhi and later in Lucknow.
This art that died after the death of the last Dastango of Delhi, Mir Baqar Ali, in 1926, was revived in 2005 by Mehmood Farooqui. The early Dastangos told tales of magic, war and adventure, and borrowed freely from other stories such as the Arabian Nights, storytellers such as Rumi, and storytelling traditions such as the Panchatantra.
Sunil Mehra is a Delhi based author, journalist, curator, filmmaker, a social commentator who has worked in publications like Indian Express, India Today and Outlook.
Askari Naqvi, is a Lucknow based lawyer, human rights’ activist and a celebrated exponent of Sozkhwani: a lyric recounting of the tragedy of the Karbala.