Ashwin Chitale’s Rumi Hai is a mystical reminder of the Persian poet Rumi and his recitals of love
The 70-minute performance, Rumi Hai is presented in the ancient forms of storytelling called Dastangoi and naqqali
For centuries, Persian poet Rumi’s work has inspired many creative minds to experiment with his poetry and philosophy. Although he lived in the 13th century, his work continues to be relevant. Pune-based performer Ashwin Chitale believes that the poet continues to intrigue and hence he has curated the live performance Rumi Hai.
Based on Rumi’s poetry and his life experiences with his spiritual instructor Shams Tabrizi, the 70-minute performance, Rumi Hai is presented in the ancient forms of storytelling called Dastangoi and Naqqali.
A scholar of Indology, Ashwin started diving deep into Rumi’s poetry and life when he started learning the Persian language. “I came across Rumi’s legendary tales and they were so fascinating. I compiled the entire life of Rumi through various materials and translated them,” says Ashwin, who later started an Instagram account where he would only upload Rumi’s poetries. “It got immense attraction so I decided to create this live performance with all the material I had,” he recalls.
Dastangoi and Naqqali are traditional Iranian form of storytelling that translates to ‘narrating’. Both the performing art forms were developed in the 13th century and they used to be performed at royal courts. While the former follows a formal style of performance, the latter offers freestyle. Here, the dastan go and naqqal is Ashwin, who tells us that he used both forms in his performance because it allows him to convey the story better. But how does he keep the audience hooked with his solo performance during those extremely philosophical recitals?
“Rumi’s poetry is layered and tricky to convey but that’s what makes it attractive. They are profoundly spiritual and philosophical, so I included Rumi’s biography and his conversation with Shams, which many people connect with,” says the 27-year-old who has done more than 30 shows of the performance across the country. Ashwin chooses to perform in an intimate space so he can develop eye contact with his audience. “It’s a very sensitive story and should be told in a closed setting. You want to make eye contact with the audience so they connect with you,” he insists.
On Saturday, 7 pm
At Si Bambai, Kala Ghoda