About Dastangoi

Dastangoi is a 13th-century Urdu oral storytelling art form. It developed around the stories of valor and adventures of Amir Hamza, an Arab hero, a thousand years ago but soon these stories and the art form spread out and the tradition spread from Bosnia, Morocco, and Algeria to Indonesia and China. However, these stories became very popular when they entered the Urdu canon and the art form reached its zenith in the 19th century in North India. 

About the Dastan

‘Dastan-e-Karn az Mahabharata’, by the award-winning Mahmood Farooqui stands as a pioneering effort, bringing the Mahabharata to life through oral recitation, a rarity in contemporary times. The two-hour solo performance delves into the life of Karna, through a mesmerizing blend of Sanskrit, Urdu, Hindi, Farsi, and Arabic. A seated-down solo performance of this length hasn’t been attempted for a long time, since the last great Dastango passed away over a hundred years ago.

About Mahmood Farooqui

Mahmood Farooqui is an award-winning writer and performer. He was awarded the Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar by the Sangeet Natak Akademi of the Union Government for his effort in reviving Dastangoi. His book on the 1857 uprising Besieged: Voices from Delhi, 1857 was awarded the Ram Nath Goenka Award for the best non -fiction book of the year by the Indian Express Group. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Universities of Michigan, US and Berkeley, California and was a Rhodes Scholar from India at the University of Oxford and at the University of Cambridge.