Today is the sixth anniversary of the day I last met Ankit Chadha, a brilliant young dastango, a teller of tales par excellence.
I wrote about him here: https://dipalitaneja.blogspot.com/2019/02/the-bliss-of-not-knowing_1.html
Life is indeed strange and magical: I had first seen Ankit perform Khusrau ke Rang, and this Sunday afternoon the spouse and I were watching a show called Jo Dooba So Paar, also about Amir Khusrau and his pir, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya.
A brief glimpse of Khusrau ke Rang :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zza8bQPmmGE
A glimpse of Jo Dooba: https://www.facebook.com/NCPAMumbai/videos/689694585715308/
My heart was completely won over when, right at the very beginning, Ajitesh Gupta dedicated the show to the memory of Ankit Chadha, and described how he had been inspired to learn Dastangoi from Ankit's YouTube videos. He had never met Ankit, but was deeply influenced by his work.
The performance by Ajitesh Gupta, Mohit Aggarwal and their troupe, was truly scintillating. It was very original, very different from Khusrau ke Rang, and yet one could feel the spirit and the dedication and the impeccable research that was the hallmark of all of Ankit's creations. Besides frequent laughter at the gentle humour in the play, I was also moved to tears by its poignancy.
Amir Khusrau and his beloved pir Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya are immortalized in Khusrau's poetry, a living legacy that is still read and sung and performed centuries later.
I am glad to say that Ankit Chadha's legacy also lives on.
(His last creation, Praarthana, is now available:https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=322377446322999