Monday, June 26, 2006


Peepulz... few friends from Delhi are the ones responsible for this play...One show was held at the NCPA- I've seen it, loved it and will recommend everyone to experience it at least once. Don't miss! And pass the word around please. They are having another show at Prithvi as as part of Naseeruddin Shah's Motley presentation of "Katha Collage".

Motley presents
Dastangoi: A Presentation of the Lost Form of Storytelling
(A Part of Katha Collage II)

The Sea of Eloquence – An Evening of Dastan-e-Amir Hamza

July 1 & 2, 2006 at 9:00 pm, Prithvi Theatre, Juhu, Mumbai
Tickets available at Prithvi on the day of performance itself.

The oral narration of Dastan-e-Amir Hamza was a popular past time in most parts of Central, Western and South Asia and North Africa since medieval times. Originally composed in Persian, the Dastan-e-Amir Hamza describes the battles of Amir Hamza, the Prophet Muhammad’s Uncle, against infidels, sorcerers and other pretenders to divinity.

Until the beginning of the twentieth century, the Dastan-e-Amir Hamza was singularly successful in entertaining a whole range of people, from the commoners at chauks and nukkads to the elites in their palaces; it was performed at the steps of the Jama Masjid where Dastangos gathered. While their neglect as literature is inexcusable, they have been wholly obliterated from the canon of performing arts. As anecdotes of Mir Baqar Ali, the last known Dastango of Delhi, testify, their performances required an exceptional command over rhetoric, delivery, mimicry, ventriloquism and spontaneous composition.

The present performance of Dastangoi builds upon some recent shows that were enthusiastically received in the Capital. The performance consisted of portions of the best-known daftar, or chapter, of the 46 volume Dastan-e-Amir Hamza, the Tilism Hoshruba, the ‘Enchantment that Steals away the Senses’, which is itself in seven volumes.

The performances have come about as a result of a collaboration between S.R. Faruqi, the foremost living authority on these Dastans and the only person to possess a full set of all the 46 volumes, and the performers. Faced with neglect and systematic devaluation we now have very scanty evidence for the way in which these Dastans were compiled and performed. Even basic things such as movements, gesticulation, stage setting are wholly unknown. The current performance is therefore merely an exploration of an Art form which, astonishingly in a culture where poetry was regarded as the supreme art, was considered by some to be of a higher order than poetry itself.

Dastangos were supposed to be a repository not just of language, common speech as well as literary, but also of social mores, craftsmanship, and all other forms of knowledge.The Dastangos of old performed in an oral culture where memory, sound and directness were much prized. As modern actors we neither have skills to memorize whole daftars, nor the inventiveness to do spontaneous and extempore improvisations which are the hallmark of oral performances.

See also: The Dastangoi blog.

Mahmood Farooqui is a self-trained actor and performer whose most recent foray into acting consisted of a role in Mahesh Dattani’s English film, Mango Soufflé. Initiated into theatre as a schoolboy, and as stage manager, by Mohan Maharishi, former director of the National School of Drama, he directed several plays at school and college, and prepared for the final entrance workshop of the NSD, before founding his own amateur theatre group called Dastak Theatre. After completing his M Phil in Indian History from Cambridge University, Mahmood went to Mumbai and performed in IPTA’s Aakhri Shama and the Company Theatre’s Hindustani presentation of Rosencratz and Guildenstern are Dead. Earlier this year, he was given a Fellowship by Sarai, CSDS to work on the Dastan-e-Amir Hamza.

Danish Husain has done theatre with the best names in the country - Habib Tanvir, M.S. Sathyu, Barry John, Rajinder Nath, Sabina Mehta Jaitley, Aziz Quraishi, et al in a wide variety of roles. His latest assignments include a play called Raja by Rabindra Nath Tagore and a movie, Losing Gemma, by Granada Productions for a British TV Channel called ITV. He also performed at Bonn Theatre Festival in May 2006 as part of Habib Tanvir’s Agra Bazaar troupe. Besides being an accomplished actor Danish is a poet and a writer, whose work has been published across a cross-section of media, including Tehelka and other journals. He is a member of few collaborative blogs and a writer's group called Wriyaz supported by the British Council. Danish holds a Master's degree in economics from the Delhi School of Economics and an MBA from the Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi.
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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The paper lantern now hangs
outside my window
a vain attempt of display…
of stoicism…
Struggling…as it suspends itself
…fighting…against the might of the winds
that have
conspired to tear it down…
surviving….all odds
…torn and in shards
never giving up…
won’t ever, I know…
not until I choose to discard…
...these remnants of our friendship…

Monday, June 12, 2006

my tryst with hindi...(part1)

had written the following at different junctions of life...some were sms that I had sent,many (rather most) were part of mails I used to send a friend and the others just random thoughts -all straight from the heart!
(ps: mucho apologies to all those hindi/urdu 'stars' urf 'poets'...have never claimed mastery over the same although some words just cannot be expressed in any other language!)
kya kare......jaan atki hai is kaidkhaane mein.
Ud bhi nahi sakte aur bhaag nikal
bhi nahi sakte ....
Yeh na poocha kabhi humse
ki humne kya khoya hai
Bas yunhi maan liya tumne
ki humne paaya hai....
Kya humne banaya voh humara nahi?
To phir kyun lagta hai ki hum the jaha
ab bi hai vahi........
Yeh maahol hume maar daalega,
aur hum khakh kya jee rahe hai?
Zindagi se badkar hai humara zameer....
par jab zindagi hi na ho,
to hum kya cheez hai!
(written when i was really frustrated with office!)
Hai tumhe pyaar
ki na koi kadar
paagalpan pe utar aaye hum,
teri chaah mein o bekhabar....
dil se aah nikli meri
jab gusre ham teri dagar….
Jhuki hui nazron ne kya ada chala di
Hum baithe rahe intezaar mein in hoton ki
Par aapki aankhon ne har baat keh di…
Hum mashoor na sahi…
shayar to ho gaye
tumne kya jadoo kar diya,
hum hum na reh paye….
zindagi mein log bahut mile
kuch pyar kuch 'fool' khile
magar kasam us khuda ki
aap jaise paagal bahut kam mile!
tera mail dekha
poem pada
zubaan se labs na aaye
dil bhar aaya
aankh bhar aayi.
tere jaisa yaar laakh duaon ke baad aaye
(for a dear dear friend called 'S')
Aap aur aapka cell, kabhi saath nahi hote...
Voh hoti to aapka mere sms pe reaction kaisa hota,
Aap kuch baat par hairan hote,
aur kuch baat par kitne haste...
Aap hote to voh aise maayoos na hoti...
(A take-off on Mein Aur Meri Tanhayee ..a la Amitabh Bachchan)
Purane dost mil gaye to naye bhula diye...
yaad bhi na aye to hum chale gaye...
Kisine poocha bhi nahi kahan ko chal diye
Kya laut ke aaoge yeh poochna bhi naseebwaale le gaye...
jhoomti hui badalon ki yeh kahani
le gaye hume ek daur purani
barasne lage hum pe bhi woh barish aur uski dhun
ehsaas ajnabee to socha...
is barsaat ke dil ki dhadkan bhi le sun...
(A post on Harjee's blog- check for the link on the sidebar.
Harjee....Sirjee... ab boliye ji! hehe)
these are some that I culled out through books and whatever I had saved, the rest later...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

What a KICK OFF!!!

If there's any sport I am really passionate about, it's football! Even though I am a die-hard fan of F1, there's nothing that compares to Football, at least not for me!

Well, the opening round has seen Germany beat Costa-Rica 4-2... believe it or not- I actually predicted all goals perfectly, including Germany's win, except for the last goal, which was a free kick even for me. I was on the phone with M and started betting with him from the moment Germany got their first goal. Predicted Costa Rica would get their first to even the score, then Germany would go on to make it 3-1, with Costa Rica managing their second....but I predicted that Germany would win 3-2... which happened to become 4-2... tch! But I realised, I'm not bad at all with me thinks that me should get into full-time betting- at least will ensure a good amount of moolah! :)

Football being the team game it is, is always watched with friends and their friends.. so the last time, the venue happened to be my home. And we had people pouring in at all times, mornings, afternoons, during lunch or tea breaks, evenings, after office, dinner time... we had 15-20 people, some of whom I was not even well acquainted with, watching, cheering, bad-mouthing, guzzling beer like no tomorrow, going crazy with every goal.. amazing amount of fun!!!!!!! This year, I watched it alone with Tara, who really took to it... me thinks (again) that she's going to grow up just like me...hehe.

The World Cup always reminds me of Dad. And times spent with him. He being a good sportsman himself, would watch every sport, and every match- be it cricket, football, tennis.... and Football World Cup times were the ones I cherish the most... long nights spent with eyes glued on the television till they hurt, eating midnight snacks, while he innundated me with information on the various facets of the game and the players.... times that we spent together, just him and me... I miss those good ol'days....and I miss him too...terribly.

I had wanted desperately to go to Germany to watch it, but couldn't afford it really... so maybe after four years, the next world cup...hopefully it will be in Brazil. So want to see that country! Brazil, Italy, England and France happen to be countries I really like- for architecture and design, food and fashion and of course- football! Not to mention the language and culture!

Well, the fever has just begun....lets wait till it hits the roof! :) My bets are with France, although Brazil has all the stars! What do you think???

ps: the pic happens to be of Ballack, captain of Germany. I think he's cute... and so is Michael Owen, Zidane (so love his name too), Lehmann... Yea! Even Beckham, although he's been done to death with over-publicity.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I write
because I want to?
Is it that only
or a feeling of compulsive commitment
to an existence perhaps…
…maybe to keep the wheels of the mind churning
forever? A possibility?!
A gamut of feelings
that need to be expressed …?
to someone or for anyone
or is it for me then?
Do I die,
when the writer in me
no longer exists?
Or when the situation
ceases to inspire….?
Is it the anathema of
being lonely versus being alone?
listening to silence is bad enough
so I’d rather hear my own voice!?
I guess…
and that’s why I write?
Maybe because I need to….?


Tuesday, June 06, 2006


(oh yes! I knew you guys would be expecting a post on this one...hehe)
The number 666 holds great interest for me... especially because it represents my birth number 18, and of course considered by many the number of the Devil. Now if we look at the word 'Devil' it is 'Lived' spelled backwards and 'Evil' is "live"... so my understanding of the same is that it signifies people who were very forward in their thinking and also lived life according to their understanding and rules- which was against the orthodox doctrines of society... so they were considered evil or even possessed by the Devil.
But in this timeline of 2006, the definition of evil has changed and become really menacing and dark- with people harming each other badly and the natural habitat of this world.
Got this piece of info from Jonathan Cainer's site:
"A passage in the Book of Revelations suggests the number 666 is a mark of the devil. Many experts reckon it's a coded reference to a Roman emperor. They also think the original number was 616 and the middle digit in was accidentally misread by a shortsighted scholar, during a candlelit manuscript copying session. On 06.06.1906, nothing much happened, and nobody notorious was born. June 6 1806 passed without incident too. So, unless you suffer from Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia (fear of the number 666) there's no need to worry about today's date, even at six minutes and six seconds past six! "
But then again, read this:
Is "www" in Hebrew equal to 666?
YES. . . and. . . NO.
NOTE: "www" is the acronym for world wide web and is normally used as the prefix, or first node of the Internet domain names, such as
FIRST. . . The YES.
How to get 666 from www?
The Hebrew and Greek alphabet does not have separate characters or alphabets for numbers and letters. Letters are also used as numbers. So each letter is a numerical value. The Hebrew equivalent of our "w" is the letter "vav" or "waw". The numerical value of vav is 6. So the English "www" transliterated into Hebrew is "vav vav vav", which numerically is 666.
So that makes all of us Devils.... :)
I'm sure that does away with the scary thoughts- so enjoy the day! :)
ps: if you want more info on the numerical understanding of the number (which is really interesting just to read), check this link: