Salim Ghouse and Aaryama Salim take on Urdu oral art of storytelling

Updated: Aug 19, 2018, 08:46 IST | Kusumita Das | Mumbai

Salim Ghouse and Aaryama Salim will be showing the audience another side of art form of storytelling

Aaryama Salim (left) and Salim Ghouse in a still from the play
Aaryama Salim (left) and Salim Ghouse in a still from the play

Veteran theatre artiste Salim Ghouse and his son Aaryama Salim are set to present another take on the ancient Urdu oral art of storytelling, Dastangoi. Titled Dastaan-e-Dil, this is a two-person play enacted by father-son duo. While Dastangoi is a static form of storytelling, where the narrator takes the audience through the story without acting it out, Dastaan-e-Dil will see Salim and Aaryama act out the pieces, in two solo-acts.

"One would say storytelling is the most original and purest form of theatre. Back in the day, one would go from village to village, enact the stories and get food or shelter in exchange of the entertainment they provided. What we are attempting could be seen as a spin off on that," says Aaryama. The piece is being referred to as a play, which is a "tapestry of comedy, tragedy, satire, history and poetry'. "The language is Hindustani, which basically means Urdu. What we are also trying to establish through the piece is that Urdu is not someone else's language, it's ours, and therefore it is called Hindustani," he adds.

The stories have been written by SR Faruqi, M Farooqui and M Kazim and the act is produced by Anita Salim, and directed by Salim Ghouse. "The story that I will be enacting has been taken from the characters of Tilism-e-Hoshruba, that narrates the adventures of Emir Hamza, the legendary Persian hero. This story focuses on his childhood, and talks about how innocence should not be stifled," Aaryama says. Ghouse's story, Hindustan Jannat Nishan, is on India and the concept of a country and learning from history. "Both the characters have no background. So, it's almost like the child in my piece has matured into the old man in my father's piece. You see the character, who has grown blind, walk from one wing of the stage to another, and in the middle, by accident, the story happens."
Both the stories talk of authority in two different ways, and both, in their own way makes the audience question their own beliefs, Aaryama says. "The dramatised version of storytelling is a challenge for actors, as there is a constant switch between narration and acting. And that also keeps the audience glued."

WHEN: 9 pm, August 21 and 22
WHERE: Prithvi Theatre, Janki Kutir, Juhu
ENTRY: Rs 175-R500
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