The art of Dastangoi, literally ‘The telling of an epic’, is a form of storytelling that originated in Persia, travelled to India and fostered an Urdu equivalent, before dying out in the 1920s. Mahmood Farooqui’s acquaintance with Dastangoi began in 2002, when he read the Dastan-e-Amir Hamza, to help out a friend of his uncle and Urdu scholar Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, who intended to make a documentary on the form. He would go back to it a couple of years later, on a Sarai fellow