Monday, April 20, 2020

First day of the story telling session workshop

Reflecting on the word, ‘Panchtantra,’ Vikram revealed a lot of stories through questions but, not as dry information. ‘Listen for yourself but not for your children or for others,’ Vikram mentioned.

"This story is for the child, how he’d see it?'. 'Stop these questions as we can never be a child. We are adults, there’s puberty that makes us adults.  We can never think of others because we are not others. Let’s think of ourselves as we attend these stories." Vikram encouraged to reflect on stories.

‘Whom do you think, wrote these stories? Where did these stories come from?’ were the questions that put us on racing with our assumptions. We were surprised by the facts that were revealed to us in an anecdotal way. The very old version that’s documented is available in Urdu/Persian. How Urdu? Well, that’s another story. We went on with the stories of how it traveled from one language and ended up in Persian/ Urdu. Within the story, there’s another story shared. The stories surprised us, soothed us, inspired us to celebrate the stories. With the help of couplets, translations, the session gave a lot of questions to reflect on. Panchatantra, is it for children? If Panchtantra is translated to English, it’s five strategies. Are strategies meant for children or adults?

How did we end up giving moral sense to stories? How did we label this whole classic stories as ‘stories for children.’

A lot of facts were revealed in this session. The facts can be found anywhere but, the collective discussion and the gathering to celebrate stories made it more meaningful.

I was intrigued to read about the community in Rajasthan, who heal people through stories. That’s quite interesting. In fact, the story of how the Panchatantra traveled to Iran also has the healing perspective.

The translation of the couplet that Vikram mentioned was profound. 

Are these stories meant for children? Why do we always get the label, ‘for children.’ Are stories only for children? The reason why we tell stories is to bring in the moral sense of the story. Well, are those stories meant to bring in the moral sense? No.

Even, if we want to bring moral sense, what do we want to share about?
Truth? Goodness?
As adults, are we purer than children? That’s one question we need to reflect on. As adults are we truthful enough? As adults are we good enough?

Are stories meant for children, for others?
Stories are meant to tell ourselves to reflect upon, absorb, and act on what we understand from.

Why do we always push it on children when there’s nothing mentioned for children?

The stories originated for some other intent and the stories traveled and got shaped into a scenario where we put it out only for children but, not for ourselves.

As an artist, storyteller, writer, the story we share has to be resonated for us, before it's shared with others. Stories are for ourselves, individuals.

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