Showing posts from June, 2008

about storytellers and storytelling

Sorry to have flooded one and all with some terse verse! I resume my musings on the art of storytelling. Story telling as you all know is an ancient art, and in India the oral tradition dates back to thousands of years. Even as far back as 15 to 20 years back grandparents were available (on demand!) to tell stories, ranging from religious to ribald. Now too, stories are told but not by humans, conveniently we have been replaced by electromagnetic waves. Shove in the CD or the VCD and and children stay put for an hour or two. Believe me I do it too, so I am not here to criticize anyone, my idea is to take you to the world of the story teller and try to project, how different the same story appears in the hands of an adept story teller. So in this context I want to introduce you to an organization, unique in its role of training storytellers. Kathalaya is in Bangalore and they train interested personnel, from all walks of life, in the art of storytelling. After that the world is your st


Goa in October1999 Lush green, meets our eyes Is this our India, land of grime? Inescapable, Panaji though is Hot and humid, dirty and dusty. Resort life we wanted no part of As we set off to explore Goa. Boarded the bus for there to see Churches and beaches, and Portuguese! A different world, a foreign one Of roadside altars and feni bars. Ladies in frocks, and men in shorts Funny alien guise for an Indian visage! Famous churches, more famous beaches In different hues and different shades. Some red and sandy Some rocky and gray Here white skins frolic in gay abandon While brown skins watch with quiet amusement! Honeymooner's paradise Explorer's delight! Sunset cruise on the Mandovi Ringing music on turbulent waters. Where mountains meet water, Without bars nor barriers. Where blue skies merge With green and glossy foliage. Here lies such naked beauty Here lies such virgin purity. An enchanting time, an enchanted world. But will it remain for future generations the same?


Vijayanagar/Hampi:October 2000 The Royal Rayas and their splendid kingdom Spread over the valley of Tunga in great abundance. From Vittala to Virupaksha From Lotus Mahal to Bhima's Gate. We amazed at the expanse, We admired the extent. Kings and Queens, Ministers and Subjects Once tread this soil Shared the ground we stand! Oh! For those romantic times; Of poetry in stone Of language in art Of wars won and lost Of lovers new and past. Of rulers who become monarchs Of maids who become queens. We were transported in time, standing amidst the ruins, Thinking thoughts of the splendor...and the fall. Wondering at the enormity, saddened by the pall. Would I go back in time Not at all....maybe?!!

versespace:3- Payanangal: Ajanta/ Ellora

On our trip to Ajanta/ Ellora : April 2000 Ajanta and Ellora Opened up like Pandora's To reveal beauty in stone. Caves and Hollows. Mortar and Clay. Pillars and Statues. Tempera and Lime. Tools of ancient clime Toiled, to capture time. Preserved forever on mountain walls By faithful monks working with awls. (Dare we create such magnificence now?)

versespace:2- Toddlerhood

again repeated twice over !  None prepared , Not all ready.  She jerks me out of complacency!  No more late mornings  No more breakfast in bed  She'll wake you in the wee hours  Howling to be fed! Its like being hit by lightning  Swift and shocking!  And our toddler is way ahead Shoving and pushing.   Move over things You are all not to be spared!


Written for my first baby, echoed on arrival of the second too !  The anticipation at the begin' continues within....  Thoughts of you my baby Encompass me like a blanket.  A time, I cherish, this bond, These special moments.  Are you mine? I wonder.  This is the beauty of nature  The marvels of creation.  Cliches for sure, yet for each  An inexplicable experience Unique.  This cozy haven,for you,  Created in me, to hold,  Till you are ready to face us,  Stay there little one safe and sound  Because, you are not yet, to meet the world!

Writing stories

Now lets talk about writing a story, that's a totally different ball game. Many of us have stories inside us, waiting for the right audience to release it! Blogs are wonderful spaces for clandestine writers like me who fear feedback so much, we cant share it. It took a lot of courage on my part to release it to my audience, and I am glad I don't have to face them. One needs to be inspired or suppressed enough to write! You may wonder at this dichotomy, but I know it holds true. I draw inspiration from Sudha Murthy, yes our own Goddess of Good! Silly name but I say it with fondness, because I have personally benefited from her goodness, and any one who I keep on the pedestal and I am in awe of, I call Goddess! I happened to read her book, " How I taught My Grandmother to Read and other stories" Simple, lucid and direct, to the point that I felt I could have written each and every one of them. I dedicate my amateur efforts totally to her! She takes very ordinary, day t