Thursday, October 13, 2011

An Old Fort, Two Rivers, & Few Tales from Tilism-e-Hoshruba

Finally, a performance you can't resist - a perfect fusion. Dastangoi, a lost and old art form of storytelling, on the ramparts of Purana Qila (or Qila-e-Kuhna in Mughal rulers' parlance) at 7 pm tomorrow Friday, October 14, 2011 as part of the Yamuna-Elbe Project - a public art project about the two rivers Yamuna in Delhi and Elbe in Hamburg brought in by GIZ, Ministry of Urban Development and other agencies.

The venue for the performance is the spot where the new light and sound show takes place. Please enter Purana Qila from the Zoo entrance, climb the acclivity, go past the main gate till you reach a T-point, and then turn right to the other gate. Keep walking till you reach the other gate. That's the venue for the performance. Apologies for informing this late. GIZ is still in the process of securing permissions, licenses, permits, etc.

The event is free and open to all. Please feel free to be there with as many people as you wish to.

For more details please visit

Performers will include: Mahmood Farooqui, Ankit Chadha, Yojit Singh, & Danish Husain.

Directed by Mahmood Farooqui

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dastangoi at Mulakaat: An Indo-Pak Cultural Exchange Festival

Tales from Tilism-e-Hoshruba at Mulakaat, an Indo-Pak cultural festival, tomorrow Wednesday, 12th October 2011 at 4pm at Shah Auditorium, Off Raj Niwas Marg, Civil Lines, Delhi 110 054. The auditorium is close to the Metro Civil Lines station.

Directed by Mahmood Farooqui

Performers Manu Sikander Dhingra and Nadeem Shah

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Dastan-e-Sedition at the National Convention on Grievance Redress and Whistleblowers' Protection

We're presenting Dastan-e-Sedition as part of the National Convention on Grievance Redress & Whistleblowers' Protection on Oct 11 at 2 pm at Bluebells International School, Kailash Colony, New Delhi.

Directed by Mahmood Farooqui

Written & Performed by Mahmood Farooqui & Danish Husain

The complete message for the convention is here:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Greetings from the National Campaign for Peoples’ Right to Information (NCPRI).

In the wake of current debates around corruption and grievances, it is important to once again highlight people’s struggles for ordinary rights and services like ration, hospitals, schools, water, sanitation, roads, MNREGA entitlements, pensions, Indira Awaas and a host of other government schemes for so-called development that never reaches people. As we know, lack of accountability and the day-to-day corruption faced by ordinary people is the biggest reason for the poorest and most marginalized sections of our society not securing their basic right to development. In addition, an issue that impacts people of this country is the lack of an effective mechanism to deal with the everyday grievances of citizens with respect to these rights and services. Effective grievance redress requires an accessible, decentralized, and responsive system equipped to deal with grievances in a time-bound and accountable manner.

At the same time, people struggling for these rights and the scores of activists who have tried to uncover the nexus of corruption between politicians, bureaucrats and other private interests at the local, regional and national levels have been at the receiving end of harassment, threats and violence. Over the years, many activists struggling for justice have been imprisoned, seriously threatened, injured or have even lost their lives. A comprehensive Whistleblower Protection mechanism then is essential for ensuring that the struggles for justice, accountability and transparency in public life are not compromised by vested interests again and again.

The National Campaign for Peoples’ Right to Information (NCPRI) has proposed a series of anti-corruption and grievance redress measures to effectively tackle corruption in the government, redress grievances of citizens and protect whistleblowers. A key element of these measures is a National Grievance Redress legislation which draws on successful existing grievance redress mechanisms in NREGA, RTE etc. and proposes an independent, decentralized grievance redress mechanism. In order to ensure protection of whistleblowers, the NCPRI has proposed several amendments to strengthen the 'Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making the Disclosure Bill' that is currently before the Parliament and is proposing an effective Whistleblower Protection Bill instead.

The NCPRI and other organizations are organizing a two-day national convention on the 10th and 11th of October 2011 to discuss the proposed measures for grievance redress and whistleblower protection. You are requested to kindly nominate representatives from your organization/campaign to participate in the convention. We request all participants to bear their own costs for travel to Delhi, and make a contribution of Rs 100/- towards registration fees, which will go towards covering some of the costs of food and accommodation. Food and very basic accommodation will be organized for the two days. (Please inform us if you will be making your own arrangements for accommodation).

Please let us know by 1st October how many people from your organization/ campaign will be attending the Convention.

Further details about the venue will be sent to you shortly. We will also be forwarding you concept notes and draft Bills.

We look forward to discussing these measures with a wide range of groups and campaigns like yours who have been working on these issues across the country.

We look forward to your participation in the convention.

In solidarity,

Nikhil Dey , Venkatesh Nayak, Anjali Bhardwaj, Ramakrishna Raju and Angela Rangad

(for the NCPRI)
National Campaign for People's Right to Information

Tales from Tilism-e-Hoshruba at 'Celebrating Humor' OWTF '11

Dastangoi opens the Old World Theatre Festival 2011 'Celebrating Humour' on October 10, 2011 at 7 pm at the Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road.

The performances will include two tales from Tilism-e-Hoshruba performed by Manu Sikander Dhingra, Nadeem Shah, Ankit Chadha, and Yojit Singh.

Directed by Mahmood Farooqui

Mahmood will introduce the performance.

For ticket booking and other festival details, please visit their website:


Magic of The Word: Dastan-e-Sedition

Photograph Courtesy: Afzal Ahmed
Mumbai gets its first International Storytelling Festival with artists participating from Canada, Egypt, France, Japan, Spain, UK, US, and India. We're also performing as part of the festival on Sunday, 9th October 2011 at 11 am at Barfiwala Auditorium, Next to Versova Police Station, D.N. Nagar, Versova, Andheri West, Mumbai. The event is open to all. For more details on the festival, please visit their website:

We'll have a Dastan-e-Sedition performance for the first time by Rajesh Kumar and Rana Pratap Senger. Till date Mahmood and I only have been performing the same. So, it will be exciting to see the take of these two artists on the Sedition tale.

Directed by Mahmood Farooqui. Written by Mahmood Farooqui & Danish Husain.

Thanks for your support.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Rendezvous at Ninasam

Apologies for the absence. We were at Ninasam, sucked into the idyllic setting of this beautiful village. Thanks to K.V. Akshara for inviting us there. More about our sojourn there later. But if you're keen to know more you can check their website:

Meanwhile, I'll post info about the upcoming shows this month. A bit late in the day but please bear with us.