For each episode, our guest will be asked to choose five pieces or items that have influenced their intellectual life and their work. These five items can be books, art, music, poetry, photographs, performance, a person, an event, or an experience. The choices then become the basis of a free-flowing conversation that discusses our guest’s life, their personal, political and intellectual journeys and histories. At the end of the programme, our current guest will nominate the person to be interviewed next in the series making this podcast an exercise in serendipity and an intellectual history of a new generation of writers/ scholars/ artists and activists. This week we bring you a conversation between Suchitra Vijayan and Danish Husain, from the heart of Delhi’s Lodi Garden.
Danish Husain is an actor, poet, storyteller, and a theatre director. He started his career in theatre with Barry John and went on to work with directors like Habib Tanvir, M.S. Sathyu, M.K. Raina, Sunil Shanbag, Sabina Mehta Jaitly, & Naseeruddin Shah. He was instrumental in reviving the lost art form of Urdu storytelling Dastangoi. He runs his own theatre company The Hoshruba Repertory in Mumbai and his latest productions include plays Guards At The Taj (2017) and Qissa Urdu Ki Aakhiri Kitaab Ka (2017) besides the storytelling project Qissebaazi (2016), and the poetry performance project Poetrification (2016) with the fellow actor Denzil Smith. His major film work includes India’s entry to Oscar 2018 – Newton (2017), Ankhon Dekhi (2013), Dhobi Ghat (2010), and Peepli Live (2010). He would be next seen in Shaad Ali’s film Soorma (2018) Gaurav Chawla’s Baazaar (2018), Navjot Gulati’s Jai Mata Di (2018) besides a cameo in Nandita Das’s Manto (2018). Danish Husain won the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Award for the Best Supporting Actor in 2008 for his portrayal of Shams Tabrezi in the play Rumi; Unveil The Sun. He also won the Sangeet Natak Akademi’s (The Indian Academy for Music & Theatre) Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puruskar for reviving the lost art form of Urdu storytelling Dastangoi in 2010 that he subsequently returned during the intolerance debate in 2015.