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Actor-storyteller Swaraj Singh to regale the Hyderabad audience with a bouquet of stories

Swaraj Singh

Swaraj Singh   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

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The stories will take the audience through a roller coaster of emotions, says Swaraj Singh

Swaraj Singh remembers himself as a “curious child” who was interested in the arts — acting, dance and music — in school days. So it wasn’t surprising when the Jamshedpur-bred lad enrolled in an acting course with Actor Prepares in Mumbai when he had to make a career choice. “I wanted to be a part of Hindi cinema. Not the mainstream cinema, but the ones that are more artistic and give actors scope to perform,” he says. He looked up to actors like Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Irrfan Khan and Manoj Bajpayee.

For the last six years, Swaraj has been actively pursuing theatre as advised by a few well wishers and has been enjoying the challenges and experiences of facing a live audience. He has been a part of more than 100 performances and some of them have been staged in Hyderabad too. “But this is the first time I will be visiting Hyderabad for a storytelling session,” he says, referring to ‘Stories with Swaraj Singh’ presented by Kalakaksh at Moonshine Project this weekend.

His storytelling sessions usually range between 70 and 90 minutes. Each story narration is about seven to eight minutes and other artistes take the stage in between. The extension of his creative abilities from enacting the script that other playwrights have written to writing his own stories happened when storyteller Mehak Mirza Prabhu attended one of his plays, a powerful story of an acid attack victim, and felt Swaraj too could be a storyteller. “She felt I had the potential to write my own content and narrate it, and encouraged me,” he recalls.

Swaraj had his first storytelling session in August 2018 and presented his first story titled Bhookh, turning the lens on childhood hunger. “The story was received well and has travelled places; I even narrated it to the inmates of Tihar jail. A few NGOs also approached me, since they liked the story’s idea of not wasting food,” says Swaraj.

Swaraj penned more stories, with a conscious effort to make them socially relevant. Bhookh and Hinglish are his most popular ones. In Hyderabad, he will narrate these along with a few more titles that aren’t available in his online videos.

Swaraj’s own journey from the time he enrolled in Actor Prepares in Mumbai went through a tumultuous time after he lost his father in 2014, had to return to his hometown to be beside his mother, and eventually returned months later to Mumbai to realise that he had lost touch with acting and his confidence levels had dipped. “I took up all kinds of jobs to keep me going. I was a trainer at a gym, worked as a bouncer and had a stint at a call centre before I picked up the pieces gradually,” she shares.

He looks back at his journey with pride: “I enjoy making people laugh, cry and go through a roller coaster of emotions during the narration. I’ve lost count of how many storytelling sessions I’ve had last year. Most of these events happen over the weekend and at least three out of four weekends I am booked.”

‘Stories with Swaraj Singh’ will be at Moonshine Project, Hyderabad, on January 11; 6 p.m. Tickets on insider.in and bookmyshow.com

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 11:56:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/art/actor-storyteller-swaraj-singh-to-regale-the-hyderabad-audience-with-a-bouquet-of-stories/article30533647.ece

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