DIVERSITIES — DELHI LETTER
Students’ paintings speak more than words
by Humra Quraishi
From novels to story rendering
There is a fixed word in the Urdu language for story rendering. It is ‘Dastangoi’, perhaps originating from the word ‘dastaan’ (story). Last weekend, I was pleasantly surprised to see IIC main auditorium packed as the session on Dastangoi was on. With many in the audience, foreigners and others were unaware that such a tradition ever existed. Guess who was the main speaker to talk on this tradition, among others. It was writer William Dalrymple.
And no guessing that such meets definitely link us to the traditional. In fact, I must share this input with you which I gathered during this programme. The 46-volume ‘Dastan-e-Amir- Hamza’ is one of the longest prose narratives in the world. Its publication followed the centuries old practice of oral recitation of the story.
Sunday, May 8, 2005, Chandigarh, India