The first Storytellers session of the year was held on the 12th of January. The theme for this meeting was that of transformation and celebration, with storytellers new and old trying their hand at presenting stories of their choice.
As attendees shuffle in from the evening chill, they greet each other with a well-established camaraderie. The fresh-faces storytellers for this evening have been part of the club for weeks, and their mentors and friends encourage them with heartwarming smiles and pats on their backs. The first up was Pranav, having chosen to read ‘The Bet’ by Anton Chekov.
Stepping up to the front of the room, a deep breath preceding him, Pranav blew away the group with his low baritone voice that seemed to catch on words in the best timing. His graphic narration was the perfect start to the session, setting the pace as being aggressively invoking.
The next speaker was Tanisha, who chose to present one of Rabindranath Tagore’s famous short stories, Revenge. A chronicle of the strife of married life, and the lure of the desirable, the story was something that everyone in the room could relate to in one way or another. In a world where the institutionalised perception of the perfect happy marriage in king, this story chooses to showcase reality, and the vengeance a woman can wrought.
What made it was Tanisha’s expressive reading; the poignant voice modulation combined with her extravagant motioning elevated the experience to another level.
Next up was Chetan, who chose to read ‘Frederick’ by Leo Lionni. A children’s story, ‘Frederick’ was a beautiful piece of fiction that reeked of nostalgia of summer days and warm sunlight. The unrestrained wonder in Chetan’s eyes was infectious.
The last to present was Peter, who read Suheil Kiwan’s ‘Globalisation’. A funny take on a serious subject, ‘Globalisation’ makes use of dark humor to comment on the transformation a man goes through after his heart transplant. Comedic turn after comedic turn, the story continued to surprise the listeners, and Peter’s flippant casualness as he spoke only served to punctuate its hilarity.
After all was said and done, the club gathered to discuss the stories, what they interpreted them as, and what they took away from each work of literature. A rousing discussion carried the attendees late into the evening, but cups of chai kept their fingers warm, and biscuits were replaced by the new stories that became food for thought.