This biographical piece on Dara Shikoh is largely based on Supriya Gandhi's biography in progress. The presentation is an effort to lift away the binary framework through which people have often viewed Dara Shikoh and associated figures like Aurangzeb. The narrative does this by providing a nuanced and multifaceted view of Dara's personality and also the complex religious and political landscape of his times. This includes a special emphasis on Dara's interest in literature and spirituality. He was the first member of the Mughal royal family to write a divaan (collection) of poetry.
Scripted by Supriya Gandhi and Ankit Chadha
Performed by Ankit Chadha
Duration: 1 hour (including introduction)
Note: Children below 12 years not allowed
Ankit Chadha, a writer, researcher, and storyteller specializes in weaving new narratives for Dastangoi. His writing varies from biographical accounts of personalities like Kabir and Majaaz; to modern folk tales on nomadic pastoralism and the Internet. He has spoken on Dastans at universities including Princeton, Harvard, and Yale. Additionally, Ankit has innovated the form of 'musical narrative' that uniquely brings together stories and music. Apart from performing the Urdu adaptations of children's classics including Alice and The Little Prince, he has authored two books for children.