Writer and storyteller Ankit Chadha drowned in a lake near Pune on Wednesday night. Chadha, who was based in New Delhi, was known for performing research-based narratives in the centuries-old Dastangoi form of Urdu storytelling.
“The incident took place when Ankit Chadha and his friend had come to the Uksan lakeshore [near Kamshet] for a walk in the evening,” The Indian Express quoted a police officer as saying. “We have been told by his friend that at a point near the shore of the lake, Chadha slipped and fell into the water and drowned.” Local villagers and the police recovered his body around 8.30 pm.
“We are probing the sequence of events that led to Chadha’s death,” the officer added. “As of now, a case of sudden death pending investigation has been registered.”
Chadha was in Pune to perform at an event in Kalyani Nagar on Saturday. The 30-year-old is survived by his parents and brother.
Chadha’s dastans were based on personalities like Kabir, Rahim, Dara Shikoh, Majaaz and Amir Khusrao. He has worked with non-profit organisations to tell modern tales on sustainability, technology and hunger, according to his website. Chadha, often considered the youngest Dastango in the country, has spoken on Dastangoi globally, including at Harvard and Yale universities.
He has also written Amir Khusrau - The Man in Riddles and My Gandhi Story.