With white rabbits that talk, caterpillars that smoke the hookah and a Queen of Hearts, writer Lewis Carroll knew better than anyone perhaps that the imagination has no restrictions. Well known for reviving Dastangoi, the almost lost art form of Urdu storytelling, Mahmood Farooqi and team are now adapting two of Carroll’s most celebrated children’s stories—Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass—to their style.
Dastan Alice Ki (Alice’s Story) begins with Alice’s journey in Wonderland and revolves around her evolution on the chessboard to become a queen. The performance, by dastangos Poonam Girdhani and Ankit Chadha, will open in the Capital on Tuesday.
“The reason I chose Alice’s stories to begin our work for children is because her adventures are tilismi (magical) in nature, and the flavour of fantasy is similar to what we find in traditional dastans,” he says.
This, however, is the first time that it is focusing on children’s literature as a genre, to facilitate Hindi/Urdu learning among them.
“When I visit literature festivals for children, I see how most of the offerings are for an English-speaking audience. Therefore, we intend to adapt a lot of English texts into Hindi and Urdu dastans,” says Chadha, who quit his full-time job in digital marketing to join the team in 2010.
: Dastan Alice Ki, 26 August, 7pm, at The Attic, 36, Regal Building, Connaught Place (23746050). Limited seating.