Once upon a time not so long ago, stories were told in villages under a big banyan tree where the young and old would gather to hear traditional tales. On World Storytelling Day that was celebrated on Wednesday, a number of children, youngsters and elderly people came together at the Palm Beach Hotel to sit under coconut trees and listen to Deepa Kiran tell stories.

Deepa is a story teller by profession and combines her charming personality with music, dance, voice modulation and expression to lure the listener into the story and make it come alive around them. There were no props or A/V presentations to aid her in her narration. She did it all herself, giving a unique personality to every character in her story. She engaged the audience to help take the story forward and kept them guessing. Deepa had her audience spellbound in her magical world that she brought alive with facial expressions, sound effects, humour and movement.

Senior citizens in the audience were also seen enjoying themselves along with the children, probably reminiscent of a time when they used to narrate similar stories to their children.

The theme of the event was Fate and Fortune and Deepa started the evening with a story on the theme. She continued with her own production ‘Dashavataar for children’ which was presented in a contemporary style.

Deepa has also worked as writer and an educator and brings all her experience into storytelling. She also spoke about stories from the Panchatantra and how some of the world’s best storytellers across the world are narrating stories from it. Telling stories is an important part of bringing up children and is the best way to convey a message. Deepa is trying to revive the art of telling stories in a world in which television and tablet computers have taken over the role of a parent telling a child a bedtime story or a story at mealtime.

The event was organised jointly by Rotary Club of Visakhapatnam and INTACH. Palm Beach was the sponsor of the event. Hopefully, the art of storytelling will live happily ever after.

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