The tale of 2020: How Indian storytellers are taking their art online


In Kamal Pruthi’s Confused Bhagwan, masses of hyperactive, spiky Coronavirus stand proud of a personality’s head and have an ambling dialog.

Kamal, also called Kabuliwala, carried out this storytelling act online on June 12 from his house in Delhi sending schoolchildren in Varanasi into matches of laughter. This was his means of entertaining the kids whereas maintaining them knowledgeable of the present medical disaster. In Corona Ka Khatma, carried out per week later to a 1,500-strong viewers of primarily schoolchildren, he once more staged the story of the virus in a enjoyable means.

Also within the nationwide capital, Rituparna Ghosh, who based Your Story Bag in 2015, teamed up with eight members of The Delhi Storytellers Tribe to lift funds for The Kutumb Foundation, a not-for-profit offering COVID-relief to underserved communities in Noida. “We are currently creating a campaign to raise funds for COVID-relief. We raised over ₹80K so far,” says Rituparna. “We tell stories for our livelihood, for joy and with our artistry we could do something for the society,” she provides, on the function of the storytelling group in the course of the present disaster.

Storytellers have been modifying their medium and content material to achieve out to kids and adults with leisure, data and speak remedy in the course of the lockdown.

Many improvised and carried out online, made movies to be screened by NGOs for underprivileged kids, undertook campaigns to lift funds for displaced migrants, or reached out to restive children locked indoors with tales of consolation and hope.

Entertaining restive children

When the lockdown led to cancellations of storytelling acts, Priyanka Chatterjee, popularly referred to as Golpodidi (Golpu means speak in Bengali) created #Uncancelled online and inspired kids to speak about themselves sooner or later. “Every child spoke of schools re-opening,” says Priyanka.

The tale of 2020: How Indian storytellers are taking their art online

She additionally organised a storytelling present based mostly on Satyajit Ray’s Septopasher Khide (The Hunger of the Pitcher Plant), during which kids from India and the world over participated.

Recognising that households are now spending extra free time collectively, Ahmedabad-based Yogita Bansal Ahuja, who based Story Circle by INM Learning Services, is providing a 15-hour certification course to “create consciousness about storytelling and waking people to its power.”

The tale of 2020: How Indian storytellers are taking their art online

Another community-building initiative, which started on June 27, is The Weekly Story Soup. “This is a collaboration with storytelling representative bodies in the North, South, West and East India to create more bonding,” says Yogita.

Stories for all

The present evolving storytelling tradition is barely elitist, in response to Bengaluru-based Vikram Sridhar who used the lockdown to achieve out to underprivileged children and adults with recordings that he disseminated via NGOs.

Vikram calls himself a sit-down, versus a stand-up performer, as he narrates classical people tales within the conventional Indian model with the viewers seated round him. “Unlike dance or martial arts, storytelling is the easiest form to be digitised and hence the space has suddenly become crowded,” says Vikram.

During the lockdown, he performed a workshop for adults based mostly on the Panchatantra and different people tales. In May, he collaborated with Aparna Jaishankar in ‘Lahe Lahe’, which featured 60 practising story educators, to relate 120 mythological tales. He additionally carried out acts like ‘Lores of the Fools’, which was in regards to the legendary jokers and jesters of India, on social media.

“The screen is the future,” states Kamal, who has been within the trade for 20 years and has carried out in 9 Indian languages and German. “We are all improvising. I could see the comments from the audience on the screen as I performed.”

The tale of 2020: How Indian storytellers are taking their art online

Up till now, Chennai-based Janaki Sabesh, who is thought for enjoying the display mom in over 20 South Indian movies, says she consciously fought the digital methodology of storytelling. She started by recording tales and sing-a-alongs on audio cassettes in 1995. In 2014, she began Golpo Tales Unlimited and held classes on the terrace of a buddy’s house. But the lockdown modified that.

Along with Avanti Natarajan’s Lil Trails, she started a artistic on Instagram and moved to a much bigger platform with Zoom, for World Autism Day.

“I had a mental block about missing the live energy of the physical audience but the lockdown has proved otherwise,” says Janaki, including “The storytelling community will emerge stronger from this crisis.”

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