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Himanshu Bajpai takes Qissagoi to the People


Himanshu Bajpai takes Qissagoi to its original form and places it originated from. The nook and corners, the nukkads and chaikhanas, the parks and porticos – used to the places where the anecdotes were related across generations – transmitting the undocumented pieces of History to the flagbearers of the Future.

Qissagoi by Himanshu Bajpai at Rifa-e-Aam club for common people of Lucknow. Picture by team.
A Lucknowi born and bred, Himanshu Bajpai has been into Dastangoi and Qissagoi for almost 9 years now. Having gathered fame across the world for his art and style of storytelling, Himanshu now wants to hold these storytelling sessions for those who wouldn’t care to visit an auditorium. He wants people from all walks of life to witness the acts of storytelling that used to be commonplace once upon a time. A revival for the art, these sessions would also draw attention to the places that used to be landmarks in the city’s old and fading landscape. In an exclusive conversation with LucknowPulse Team, Himanshu told that his dream of taking Qissagoi to the people around the old landmarks of Lucknow came true when Additional Director General, UP-112, Aseem Kumar Arun; and Police Commissioner of Lucknow, D.K. Thakur consented to pave the way for transforming Himanshu’s dream into reality.

himanshu-bajpai-qissagoi at rifa-e-aam club Lucknow.
The Qissagoi program is being carried out under Mission Shakti. The program will include Qissagoi shows at prominent places in the old and historical areas of Lucknow such as Qaisar Bagh, Chowk and many others. The sponsors are Lucknow Police, Call 112 Sewa, and State Bank of India. The program series started with its first event at Butler Park, located betweek Qaisarbagh baradari and Bhatkhande Music Institute.

On 7th February 2021, the second Qissagoi event was organized at Rifa-e-Aam club, which is one of the historical places where tall leaders and dignitaries such as Mahatma Gandhi, Sarojini Naidu, Munshi Premchand, Amritlal Naagar have taken to the dais or addressed gatherings of the elite and the erudite.

The audience enjoying the qissagoi by Himanshu Bajpai at Rifa-e-Aam club in Lucknow. Picture by team.

बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

Himanshu Bajpai and Pragya Sharma narrated the folklore of India’s freedom fighter – Rani of Jhansi. This story was chosen to further the cause of women’s consciousness and empowerment taking cues from the brave icon – Rani of Jhansi. Today’s event was aptly titled – ShaktiGatha – Qissa Jhansi ki Rani ka.

As can be seen in the pictures, Rifa-e-Aam Club, the heritage backdrop is in bad shape today. The prestigious club for the Indians of the yesteryears is in dire need of conservation and restoration.




The venue for this storytelling session is in its own – a treasure-trove of untold stories. We will keep this for another day. For now, you may want to sign this petition by Heritage Lover – Swapnil Rastogi to save Rifa-e-Aam Club.

Do join us in this beautiful and nurturing initiative and attend the future sessions. LucknowPulse will keep you posted with updates.


Pictures Credits: Razi Zaidi

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