I began telling stories in 2009. I have told them to children, teachers, trainers, counselors, corporate managers, mothers, fathers and grandparents. Through each interaction, I have met some wonderful people, made life-long friends, found mentors and gurus. It’s also why I love telling stories for a living. But, two incidents will always remain engraved in my heart forever.
A teacher, who attended a workshop, had tears running down her cheeks as she listened to the story about the Rainbow Crow. At the end of the story, she came up and told me that it wasn’t the story of the crow, but her own life story that she saw unraveling. “I understand how I’ve been looking at myself all these years!” she said. The story gave her a new sense of identity.
A 6 year-old first grader, who sat listening to stories of lions, mosquitoes, trees and flowers, would, as if on cue, spontaneously break into a poem at the end of the every telling. The stories gave wings to his imagination and let it soar so high, surprising his teachers and parents about this skill they never knew he had. In fact, he was the reason I decided to turn pro.
Through those seemingly fun interactions, I have realized and have been amazed time and again by the power of story and how it connects us in mysterious ways!
In the words of Jeeva Raghunath, ace storyteller, “A story is the only gift you can give and keep at the same time. The more you give, the more you get!”
Here are some pictures from my recent workshops and performances, in sarees, of course! One is a two-tone, brown and green handloom with a solid red border and the ‘annam’ motif woven into the body of the saree. The other is an off-white Tussar with a crimson Shibori tie and dye. And I have stopped counting. I know I’ve crossed 30, for sure!