Lucknow storyteller gets Sahitya Akademi Award

Lucknow’s dastangoi (storyteller) Himanshu Bajpai has been selected for the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar 2021 in Hindi for his collection of stories ‘Qissa Qissa Lucknowa-Lucknow ke Awami Qisse’.

The compilation includes famous anecdotes, stories and fables that pertain to Lucknow.

“The book was based on my love for the city. I am elated to learn that the book consisting of tales of Lucknow is being appreciated. I am missing my guru Padma Shree Yogesh Praveen, who passed away in April. I want to dedicate this achievement to the city of Lucknow and my guru,” the 34-year-old Himanshu said.

Talking about storytelling as an art form and its relevance in today’s digital world, he said: “This art form has lived through many centuries and changes, yet its effect is manifold. It originates from the time when ‘sunana’ and ‘kehna’ (story-telling) was very basic. Writing and reading came much later, yet dastangoi had the biggest influence. I don’t think this digital world will ever be a challenge.”

The book, which has tales about the nawabs of Lucknow, is an attempt to take people closer to the originality of the city and its great heritage of courtesy and culture.

“The language of this book is like Hindustani language dipped in the sweet syrup of Lucknowi language,” he said.

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