Dastango Means Ankit Chadha


Kahani Khatm Hui Aur Aisi Khatm Hui,
Ki Log Rone Lage Taaliya’n Bajate Hue.

This actually happened on the evening of 3rd June 2018 when Himanshu Bajpayi presented Dastangoi on Majaz. It was originally prepared and presented with Ankit Chadha, so his voice recording was played accordingly. It was a real Tribute from a friend and Dastango to his Master Dastango. Emotionally it was so difficult to present the same for an hour but Himanshu tried with his wet eyes and cried at the end of the session; entire audience were also very emotional during Dastangoi. Story ends with Death of Poet Majaz and so it was co-related with the death of Ankit which happened on 9th May 2018 near Pune.

Hue Naamwar Be-Nishaa’n Kaise Kaise,
Zamee’n Khaa Gyi Aasmaa’n Kaise Kaise

The Tribute was organized by Masto and his team at Bewajah Café in Gomti Nagar. Dr Anis Ashfaq was of the opinion that Ankit was perfect in terms of language, pronounciation and passion which are essentials for Dastangoi. Inspite of the fact that he was not from Urdu background but his command over the language was perfect. In such short span of time and in the age of 30 years, he achieved a lot and he would have been the undisputed king in this art if he lived a long life. Afsar Hussain, Salim Kidwai, Nadeem Hasnain, Mehru Jaffer, Madhvi Kukreja, Jyotsna Kaur Habibullah, Shanney Naqvi, Askari Naqvi, Kailash Joshi, Abhishek Shukla, Manish Shukla, Deepak Kabir, Jayant Krishna, Yusra Hussain, Amit Kumar, Mohsina Mirza, Alisha Asif to name a few attended this session of Tribute & Dastan-e Awargi

Zindagi Saaz De Rahi Hai Mujhe,
Sehr-o Ejaz De Rahi Hai Mujhe,
Aur Bahut Door Aasmaano Se,
Maut Awaaz De Rahi Hai Mujhe.

My first interaction with Ankit was during his visit to Lucknow, when we organized Dastangoi on the 100th Birth Celebrations of Manto. It was so difficult to prepare and present the life and work of Manto in an hour but it was splendid performance. Darain Shahidi was the co-artsit with him and the next day was allocated to explore Lucknow and discuss Urdu ! There were regular interactions and events subsequently with him. He performed around ten times in Lucknow in his career of around 200 performances across Globe. His insights on the Art as well as Literature were very esteemed. Dastangoi was now his passion and motto of Life. It was so painful to visit a section of memoir in Bewajah Café for Ankit Chadha, with whom we discussed and lived Culture.

Kaun Kehta Hai Ki Maut Aai To Mar Jaoga,
Mein To Dariya Hoo’n Samundar Mein Utar Jaoga

Ankit found passion in storytelling and street theatre while pursuing his graduation in Hindu College, at the University of Delhi. It was during these years, as the president of Ibtida, the dramatics society of his college, that he found his voice. His early writings explored issues like unemployment, consumer awareness and displacement. After graduation, Ankit worked in a corporate marketing job. It was almost after two years in this job, that Ankit stumbled upon an event page on Facebook. This was the first Dastangoi workshop conducted in Delhi by Mahmood Farooqui and Danish Husain in June 2010. Ankit was the youngest participant at this workshop. While mere acquaintance to the form during those three days motivated him enough to give it a shot, what followed was a journey very personal at different levels. However, Ankit quitting his job was not taken lightly by his parents. They wanted Ankit to become an IAS officer, and were now apprehensive of the instability he was moving towards. It was when his mother watched one of his most acclaimed Dastan on Kabir – Dastan Dhaai Aakhar Ki, that she changed her mind. Ankit authored two books, titled Amir Khusrau – The Man in Riddles and My Gandhi Story. Ankit Chadha was unmistakably one of the most talented storytellers of our time and his demise has left a gaping hole in the hearts of Dastangoi lovers.

Bichda Kuch Is Ada Se Ki Rut Hi Badal Gyi,
Ek Shaks Saare Shaher Ko Veeran Kar Gya.

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18 thoughts on “Dastango Means Ankit Chadha

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