“आपका वजूद उतना ही अहम है, जितना के एक पहाड़ी पर आराम करते चरवाहे के लिए एक गुज़रता हुआ बादल“
Dastangoi, the lost art of Urdu storytelling, developed around the adventures of an Arab hero, Amir Hamza, in 8th century AD. These stories became very popular in the 19th century North India. With the demise of Mir Baqar Ali, the last known exponent of the art form, in 1928, the form died with him. Its modern revival, steered by S R Faruqi and Mahmood Farooqui, has seen not just the performance of the traditional stories from the Hamza dastan, but also the adaptations of more local and contemporary themes.
Ankit Chadha, a writer and storyteller, has been a practitioner of Dastangoi since 2010. His writing varies from biographical accounts of personalities like Kabir, Rahim, Dara Shikoh and Majaaz, to modern folk tales on corporate culture, access to the Internet, and use of mobile technology. Ankit also works for young audiences, and has performed the Urdu adaptations of children’s classics including Alice and The Little Prince. He is the author of the award-winning book for children, “My Gandhi Story” and the recently released “Amir Khusrau – The Man in Riddles”.
This is a story of nomadic pastoralists and the settled world. It follows the trails and trials of a neglected people, a forgotten way of life – told in a forgotten style of storytelling. Like the herder following the herd, storyteller Ankit Chadha has followed the herders in Gujarat, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan, to bring us their tales of living lightly on this earth.