Thursday, July 21, 2011


Dastan means story and dastangoi means to tell a story. It is a unique form of Urdu storytelling that uses no musical instruments, no props or other visual stimuli. Only the story is told. The tradition was very popular during the Mughal era and Akbar was known to patron dastangos in his court. The stories were about magic and sorcerers...Dastangoi remained popular till the early 20th century. Dastangos would recite stories in public squares and on the steps of Jama Masjid in Old Delhi. - Parul Khanna Tewari in 'Once Upon a Time' published in Hindustan Times Brunch, June 26, 2011.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

'With great wit he described the dialogue between Arjuna and Krishna, which comprises the entirety of the Gita, as being similar to a Broadway musical, when suddenly the cast freezes in position while the two main characters break out into a long song in the spotlight. Both armies effectively stand still, facing each other in silence, while Krishna and Arjuna have a profound discussion over hundreds of verses!' - John Friend in the Foreword to Poised for grace: annotations on the Bhagavad Gita from a Tantric view By Douglas Renfrew Brooks

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Postmodern fairy tales

postmodern fairy tales reactivate the wonder tale's 'magic' or mythopoetic qualities by providing new readings of it, thereby generating unexploited or forgotten possibilities from its repetition....Semiotically speaking, the anti-tale is implicit in the tale, since this well-made artifice produces the receiver's desire to repeat the tale anew: repetition functions as reassurance within the tale, but this very same compulsion to repeat the tale explodes its coherence as well made artifice. Finally, and perhaps most simply, the postmodern fairy tale's dissemination of multiple versions is strangely powerful - all re-tellings, re-interpretations, and re-visions may appear to be equally authorized as well as unauthorized.

- Cristina Bacchilega in Postmodern Fairy Tales: Gender and Narrative Strategies.