“… Dastan E-Karn was a fitting tribute to the spirit of Meera Mahadevan, who took the fearless step of raising her voice for countless young children in our country, encouraging a fightback and constructive work against injustice and neglect, forcing open doors of opportunity for every child. Karna’s bitter hurt, must keep ringing in our ears ... “, said Devika Singh, who co-founded Mobile Creches with Meera, after watching the two-hourdastan performed by Mahmood Farooqui.
What we had been planning for months – an experience for all to remember and cherish, an ambience of celebration, a reunion of fellow travellers from all stages of MC’s 50-year journey – all came together on the 2nd of December, 2018: at the candle-lit, verdant venue of Sanskriti Kendra, unsurpassed performance bywriter-scholar Mahmood Farooqui,a full house with 250+ guests, meticulous organisation and warm hospitality by MC, and a deeply felt, large hearted show of support. It was described as a ‘world class’ event by some. And thanks to all our friends and well-wishers, MC met its fundraising target!
After a hot cup of tea and snacks the proceedings for the evening started at 6 pm sharp, with a welcome by the Executive Director of MC, Sumitra Mishra, followed by the ceremonial lamp lighting by Devika Singh, O.P. Jain (Founder, Sanskriti Kendra), Sanjaya Gupta (MD, PNB Housing Finance Ltd.), Amrita Jain (Chairperson, MC), and Ajay Vohra (Member, General Body MC).
The Dastangoi presentation, on the life and times of Karna, the great warrior from the epic Mahabharata, drew upon a wide variety of Sanskrit Mahabharata, its Persian translation, Razmnama, commissioned by Emperor Akbar, and its 200-year-old Urdu verse rendering by
Tota Ram Shayan. It was inspired by the writings of the Hindi poet Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Marathi writers Shivaji Sawant and and Irawati Karve, and others. The language of the performance was Urdu, with substantial usage of Sanskrit, Hindi, Farsi and Arabic. Thanks to Farooqui’s revival of dastan goi, the art of Urdu storytelling, and this unprecedented effort, the Mahabharata is now being orally recited from the stage!
The sumptuous dinner that followed was made sweeter still by the bonding and reaching out across generations of MC friends and family. We remain deeply indebted to our supporters and well-wishers, particularly, PNB Housing Finance Ltd., Sanskriti Kendra, Hero Motocorp Ltd. and all those who placed advertisements in the event brochure and donated generously on the occasion.
The mood of the evening was defined by a sense of camaraderie, shared pride at the long road travelled and appreciation for all the detailing that went into making it an evening to remember.
Here is the link to the photographs of the evening: