Listen to Shobha Tharoor Srinivasan narrate evergreen stories from India


There is one thing about stories from the Panchatantra that has made them a favorite learn of generations of youngsters. Many such collections of Indian fables, people tales and stories have change into a part of our rising up and stood the check of time. For 70 days of the lockdown, writer and voice artiste Shobha Tharoor Srinivasan had been narrating stories about Tenali Rama and stories from the Panchatantra and the Jataka tales.

In an electronic mail interview, she talks concerning the relevance of the stories and the way they nonetheless appeal youngsters with their wit and knowledge. Edited excerpts.

Why did you resolve to narrate tales from the Panchatantra, the Jataka tales and Tenali Rama through the lockdown?

I needed to assist not directly through the lockdown, and as knowledgeable voice-over expertise and a printed writer of youngsters’s books, a read-aloud undertaking was one thing I might do and maintain for 70 days.

I’ve been feeling for some time that many Indian youngsters aren’t conscious of those fascinating Indian classics. Book shops usually carry extra books from the Western canon. Stories written nearly 2,000 years in the past just like the Panchatantra stories or the Jataka tales merited a revisit. I grew up with these stories, and I nonetheless bear in mind lots of the classes I discovered. That says one thing about their lasting worth. I included stories of Tenali Rama as a result of he’s a part of a South Indian story-telling custom and is probably not acquainted to some listeners.

Do you suppose that these tales about anthropomorphic characters resonate with tech-savvy youngsters right now?

Stories open younger minds to new worlds. Even if youngsters are tech-involved, an excellent story is at all times compelling. These stories educate and encourage with classes for each day life and I assumed that oldsters would purchase in additional simply to display screen time if the stories did extra than simply entertain. Also, since youngsters are curious and keen on animals, and lots of share their houses and hearts with pets, stories about adventurous rats, wily wolves, brave hares, intelligent turtles and so forth. would possible attraction. Anthropomorphic characters are a helpful literary system. Stories that function animals with human traits guarantee an emotional distance when the lesson is painful.

You have related to danseuse Rajashree Warrier for a sequence that has her dancing to a narrative that you simply narrate, once more principally from the Panchatantra. What was the method like?

The ‘Great Indian Story’ undertaking was the imaginative and prescient of MR Hari of Invis Multimedia. It is a singular and bold undertaking that makes use of the synergy of sound and motion to present youngsters a platform to open their minds to timeless tales whereas additionally studying the aesthetics of dance. Rajashree Warrier makes use of the mastery of her craft and Bharatanatyam mudras to visually illustrate the story, whereas I take advantage of my voice to dramatically narrate the phrases.

Is there a favorite story or character within the stories?

I loved sharing every story as most have been distinct, and the teachings they imparted, fairly totally different. It was fascinating to overview analytics and see that the stories from all three sources resonated equally with listeners. The Barber who Received a Promotion from the Tenali Rama assortment, The Sage and the Mouse from the Panchatantra, and The Penny-wise Monkey from the Jataka Tales all had greater than 1,000 viewers.

What was the response of the viewers?

The response has been great. I’ve had heat notes from dad and mom saying how a lot their youngsters have loved the stories. There have been additionally some inventive “Thank Yous” rendered artistically on social media, and lots of adults wrote in saying that they’d relived childhood reminiscences by listening to these acquainted stories of their youth.

As a much-sought-after voice artiste, what would you want to share with folks hoping to take this up?

It’s necessary first to perceive the time period ‘voice artiste’. It’s not nearly having a transparent or nice voice. It’s about how that voice is used. The recorded voice is the voice actor’s calling card and it may be, and sometimes is, distinctly totally different from the reside voice. In some methods, a voice artiste is a compassionate, clever ‘storyteller.’ And generally, the story is probably not enjoyable to narrate. The script may be dry, too technical, poorly worded, but the duty of the voice expertise is to use abilities to convey that textual content after which add a shocking aspect that makes the listener need to hear the script once more. This should even be completed inside particular time constraints. You have to give you the chance to get some extent throughout, relate a sense, and nail the message in 30 seconds, or two minutes or the time stipulated.

Having mentioned that, it’s a beautiful occupation with a good bit of flexibility and the luxurious of having the ability to work in your pajamas if you’re recording from a house studio! The key abilities required for voice-over are credibility (which is sincerity in your rendering of the fabric), comprehension of the supposed script, and the voice and communication capacity to narrate materials. The relaxation may be discovered from lessons or with knowledgeable coach.

What future do you see for audio books and plain narration within the period of visible pictures?

There’s at all times been an area for audio books. It’s a hands-free method to learn, and, in our busy lives of lengthy commutes and countless chores, a easy method to sustain our studying whereas driving to work, folding laundry, or cooking a meal. I learn that in America, 50% of youngsters underneath the age of 12 have already listened to audio books. A era in India used to gadgets and accustomed to listening to music and podcasts on their headphones may also discover it straightforward to ‘read’ books this fashion. And I do know that the suitable voice, with the suitable tonality, pitch and expression, will paint pictures in listeners’ minds and produce books alive simply in addition to visible pictures can.

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