Dastan Ki Sair

Shamsur Rahman Faruqi in conversation with Zamarrud Mughal

Discussion- 12:00noon- 1:00pm

With bated breath and excited minds, people thronged to the seminar hall of India International Centre to listen to the distinguished Urdu poet and critic Shamsur Rahman Faruqi’s sentiment on ‘Dastangoi’, through his conversation with the inventive writer Zamarrud Mughal.

Faruqi Sahib enlightened the audience with the history of ‘Dastangoi’, describing it to be a magnificent Urdu storytelling art form, which emerged from the Persian language. Dastangoi literally means to ‘tell a tale’, and it has the power to create an exquisite and new world of its own. Faruqi remarked with élan that Dastangoi is enchanting, as it possesses the power to enlarge the most minute detail through its oral majesty. He stated that tiny insects like mosquitoes could also appear as enlarged, monstrous creatures because of the impactful depiction which is given by the storyteller.

As the conversation grew further, Mr. Zamarrud narrated an interesting story of his visit to Faruqi sahib’s house. He described Faruqi sahib’s personal ‘Dastaan’ library, shelved on the first floor of his house, and how Faruqi was delighted to share his collections with him.

Faruqi sahib elaborated that Dastangoi has always been a part of our culture, and its faculty lies in the potential to depict the unheard and the untold. Even if the audience isn’t acquainted with the language, Dastangoi has the vigor to keep its audience engrossed till the end.


The stage was then opened to the audience, who came up with their interesting questions. When asked about Dastan’s relevance in the contemporary world, Faruqi Sahib piqued,

‘Log puchtey hain ke Bulbul ka aaj ke zamane mein kya kaam? Mai kehta hun kaam koi nahi hai, bhoon kar kha jao usko.’

He stated that just like Nehru and Gandhi aren’t alive today, it doesn’t mean they hold no relevance in our lives. The existence of such significant people is a relevance in itself. Similarly, Dastangoi has its relevance in the contemporary world. The discussion ended on a positive note with Faruqi encouraging the audience to realize the finesse and magnetism of Dastangoi, and emphasized on listening to them to catch a glimpse of a creative world.


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