What once held Emperor Akbar enchanted is now playing in a city, at a venue near you. Pray hard for an invite.
The Park Group of hotels is organising the 4th edition of its annual cultural festival, called The Park's New Festival
, from 3rd to 26th September, in Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Kolkata. In Hyderabad, it will be held from 17to to 19th September.
The 3-day festival will have a ballet by Preethi Athreya on 17th September, a stand-up comedy evening by Vidur Kapur on 18th September, and a Dastangoi performance on 19th September.
The last day of the festival will feature a Dastangoi performance by Mahmood Farooqui and his group. Dastangoi is a narrative adaptation of the 'Tilism-e-Hoshruba', dealing with the exploits of Amir Hamza, the Islamic warrior, against the emperor of sorcerers, Afrasiab.
Popular in India since at least the eleventh century, Dastangoi acquired prestige because of Emperor Akbar's personal interest in the form. With its transmission into Urdu, the Dastan of Amir Hamzah came to acquire the mammoth, epic proportions that are peculiar to Indic story-telling. As well as being performed, they also came to be printed. They spanned 46 volumes, and were completed in 1905.
Mahmood Farooqui studied history in India, and at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Over the last 4 years, he has worked to revive Dastangoi. He has been helped and guided by S R Faruqi, an Urdu critic and writer. Farooqui also contributes opinion pieces to India's leading newspapers and magazines.
Entry is by invitations only. Please contact Simi Susan at 2345-6789 / 4499-0000 for further details.