friday & saturday 5th and 6th January, 2018

6.30 pm Team Dastangoi Presents
The Tihar Players' - The Gallows Project 

Performers: Manisha Sethi, Vartika Nanda, Darain Shahidi, Dharmendra Kumar, Dinesh Sharma, Bilal Khan, Ishan and Golu.


Produced by-Anusha Rizvi

Directed by-Mahmood Farooqui 

The Gallows Project re-imagines the experience of the death penalty, and indeed of the prison itself, using the writings and performances of actual inmates. It takes us on a journey which begins in contemporary Tihar in New Delhi, through to Charlestown Prison of Malcolm X, the Women's jail of Vartika Nanda's Tinka Tinka Tihar, Kobad Ghandy's letter to Behind Bars’ author Sunetra Chaudhri, remembering his best friend in Tihar, Mirza Ghalib's rumination on incarceration and Oscar Wilde's immortal Ballad of Reading Goal. These readings are knit together by scenes from present day prison life in India.  Fusing music, poetry and dialogue, and presented by former inmates the performance takes you to a nether land which is created in our name but of which we know so little – and so rarely examine.  

Every Prison that Men build is built with bricks of shame
And Bound with Bars lest Christ should see how Men their Brothers Maim





friday 12th january 2018


6.30 pm “Revisiting Delhi’s Darkest Hour: The Anti-Sikh riots of 1984” by Vikram Kapur


Panel Discussion with Hartosh Singh Bal, Humra Quraishi & Arpana Caur,
Reading & questions.



The Nobel Prize-winning American writer William Faulkner once said, ‘The past is never dead. It’s not even past.’ The anti-Sikh riots of 1984 may have lasted barely three days. Their after-burn, however, continues to linger more than thirty years later. Today the story of 1984 is not the story of Indira Gandhi’s assassination or the Khalistan cause that fizzled out in the mid-nineties. Today 1984 lives through its victims; through the silent anger of an aggrieved people who lost their homes and loved ones, and continue to be defeated by an intransigent justice system in their bid to put the guilty of the time behind bars. Today 1984 is akin to a festering wound that continues to run, a rambling narrative that drones on without any sign of a fitting closure. It may be invisible, but it is not forgotten. It cannot be. Far too many people sleep with anger as a result of it.


          In The Assassinations, Vikram Kapur tells the story of how the lives of two Delhi families—one Hindu and the other Sikh—are distorted by the events of 1984. Through the ordinary eyes of his characters we witness the turbulence of the times and see how continuing to live can mean coming to terms with many kinds of deaths. Even several years later, 1984 is not the past for its victims. It continues to shape their present.   


Vikram Kapur’s new novel is The Assassinations: A Novel of 1984. He has published two other novels, Time Is a Fire and The Wages of Life, as well as an edited anthology of short fiction and nonfiction on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots called 1984 In Memory and Imagination. His short fiction and nonfiction have been published widely in India and abroad.  His short stories have been shortlisted for major international prizes including, among others, the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. His website is


Hartosh Singh Bal is currently working on a book on the 1984 Sikh massacres. He is the political editor of The Caravan magazine. He has co-written a novel A Certain Ambiguity: A Mathematical Novel which won the 2007 Association of American Publishers award for the best scholarly book in mathematics. He has also written a   sociological, political and historical travelogue about the Narmada river Waters Close Over Us.


Humra  Quraishi  is a  Delhi -based  writer, columnist and journalist . Her  books include a book on  the  Kashmir  Valley-Kashmir: The Untold  Story;  a volume of her collective writings-Views: Yours and  Mine ;  a  short-story collection-More Bad Time Tales, a volume, Divine Legacy-Dagars & Dhrupad. With the late Khushwant Singh, she has co- authored  The  Good The Bad and The Ridiculous : Profiles,  Absolute Khushwant,  and  a  series  of other writings. Her take on what it is like to be a singleton in today's turbulent times is part of the anthology Chasing the Good Life: On Being Single. And one of her essays, The State Can’t  Snatch  Away  our Children is part of  the anthology Of  Mothers  And  Others.  Her short  stories  have been  published  in several   magazines and journals.

Arpana Caur is a self-taught artist. Since the beginning of her career Arpana's main concern has been the girl child, condition of women and growing violence in India.

She has had 18 solo shows of her paintings, and participated in nine national and international exhibitions and art festivals from Baghdad to Brasilia and Japan to Rio de Janeiro

Her works are in many private and public collections in India and abroad including the National Gallery of Modem Art, New Delhi, the V&A in London as well as in museums in Dusseldorf, Singapore and Stockholm.