Meet India’s first female dastango Fouzia from Jamia Nagar. Fouzia is an artiste and she is probably India’s first female dastango residing in Jamia Nagar. Fouzia, 39, grew up in Turkman Gate and then later shifted to Okhla, close to central university Jamia Millia Islamia.
“English language was never my forte and having grown in a traditional setup, Urdu was my first love. I started searching for something that has to do with language and stories. It took me nine years to form my identity as a female dastango,” Fouzia told HT.
Fouzia dedicated her life to this profession after giving up her job as a lecturer. “If a storyteller believes in the story that is being told, then there is nothing that can’t be achieved. We have made a foray into children’s genre with ‘Dastan Alice Ki’ and it is a great way to realize the potential of the storytelling style,” said Fouzia. Though yet to be very popular in Jamia Nagar, modern dantango is used to engage children and help them grasp moral and social issues.
The traditional storytelling tradition has its root in 1928. It was then that after death of dastasngo Mir Baqar Ali many had written off the tradition until a few years ago when efforts started being made to revive it.
Till now Fouzia has successfully performed at more than 70 shows, and feels dastangoi is also the best form to bring out women-centric issues.
“This form of storytelling takes time to be appreciated and understood by the audience. How will people know our name if they don’t even know what dastangoi is? It is the art of listening that people have forgotten. Sometimes people don’t really understand what I am saying but they are perplexed with the experience. Dastango are said to possess magical powers of words transporting one to a world of seducing stories,” Fouzia told HT.