ONCE UPON A TIME

-Priya Rathnam

story telling_0

A story is a word.

 

A story is a visual.

 

A story is a promise.

 

A story is a confession.

 

A story is an imagination.

 

A story is….many and many more things which one can express.

 

LONG AGO is the phrase which draws everyone's attention. Be it a kid,

 

be it a teenager, be it a youngster, and be it an old person, age doesn’t

 

matter. But what matters is a good story.

A story is Katha in Telugu, Kahani in Hindi, kadhey in Tamil, kadha in Malyalam and many languages with many words. In the same way, composition of story involves many elements and that leads to a great end. And storytelling has a never ending like by the listeners. A story has a great and interesting beginning and it ends happily. Though it is oral, a story attracts towards its characters, plot, twist and the end. But all the stories are not the same. One story is always different from the other story. One story may be about Indian rulersand the other may be about a Donald Duck. One may be about a honset person the other may be about an optimistic person. One may be about the fun made by group of people and the other one may be about group of people who harm others. Every story has its own different angle which grabs. It not only depends on the plot but also on the story teller. Overall it aims in telling a moral. The story teller is the one behind it making it much more attractive and creative. A story teller need not be fully experienced person, instead a story teller need to be the voice of the character. The schools also have started taking up story telling as a curriculum. They also opt the present digital technology for the kids to explain, and make them understand, grasp the information and act in situations. Those schools which do not have it as a curriculum take up stories from the languages and moral education.

A story always starts with the introduction of characters, relate them to the live examples, add innovation with the help of puppets or dolls or on the screens. Oral tellers just do not tell the story; they also make the audience interactive. It sometimes depends on the age group. If it is for the school children they make it much more play way and fun way. Improve in their vocabulary, interaction, mind sharpening, thinking capacity increases which is always helpful for the future of the kids. Stage fear decreases with going on interaction amongst kids will be eased. And if the audience is not children, they will be able to suggest also in order making the story interesting.

Deepa Kiran, story teller and the founder of Story Arts India said while this is also an age running digitally, the oral stories had become visuals in these digital devices. Digital media is an integral part of life today. It is a challenge to draw children back to a simple oral tradition. The cartooned pictures always grab the attention of the children which is an effective tool for remembering the visuals and content. However, once the children experience the joy of storytelling, the warmth of one-on-one conversation, they take to it very well. Of course digital spaces are also supporting storytellers by giving us the option of connecting with other listeners and tellers. But that is paving path for the clear imagination and understanding. And if I tell stories from Indian mythology I weave in many other elements such as singing, poetry recitation, chanting slokas, dance, playing musical instruments etc. I also bring some contemporary elements in the narration, which the audience can relate to.

Another major part is all about our region and its heritage. &quote; Folk wisdom is deeply entrenched in oral storytelling and vice-versa. Oral storytelling heavily borrows from elements of folk lore. Understanding folk lore, its metaphors and symbols, similarities and differences, the formats and plots, are all enriching learning for any storyteller. They are also very useful for storytellers. So folk media has a great deal of importance. I include many languages in my various storytelling, depending on the relevance to the context and framework of telling. I have a basic understanding of reciting and chanting Sanskrit, as I learnt many slokas in my childhood. So I do include verses in Indian Mythology-based storytelling performances added Deepa Kiran.

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