Tales the letters tell

Story telling teaches effective communication. Photo: Special Arrangement  

Next month there are going to be storytellers coming in to Bengaluru from far and wide for The Hindu Young World Under the Aaladamaraa — an International Story Telling Festival. Last year, the festival was held in Chennai and Pune and was a huge success. It attracted over 5,000 children to hear enthralling stories on magical creatures, ancient gods and powerful sorcerers. This year, the festival comes to Bengaluru, and will be held from August 28 to August 30. Storytellers from India and across the world will participate in the Festival.

Under the Aaladamaraa was conceived and given shape by three friends from high school, Jeeva Raghunath, Kanchana Manavalan and Kausalya Padmanabhan, who formed Kathai Kalatta, a collective that gives a platform for storytellers, performance and oral history in Chennai.

While the sessions are primarily for children, the workshops are for teachers, parents and the corporate community on storytelling. Says Kanchana: “The pre-lunch sessions are targeted at school children, but it’s not like adults are not allowed. The workshops are for adults from every walk of life, because storytelling relates to everyone. It is also therapeutic. Storytelling not only teaches effective communication, which is an important skill for corporates, but also we hope that it will make people unwind from their regular routine.”

Bangalore Storytelling Society is also contributing immensely to the Festival. Kausalya says: “We have a whole lot of friends in Bengaluru. Last year, three young storytellers from Bengaluru came to our festival to Chennai. The festival is also an opportunity for young storytellers to learn from international storytellers.”

Kausalya adds that for the festival, they have hand-picked storytellers from a cross-section of storytellers, from the US, UK and Singapore, such as Randel McGee, Craig Jenkins, Antonio Rocha, Diane Ferlatte, among others.

They each have a unique style of storytelling. One is a shadow puppeteer, another is a ventriloquist, another uses music to tell stories and there is even a storyteller who uses a life-sized puppet.

As for why they chose Bengaluru, the duo says that there is an interest in storytelling here. “There is a lot of theatre and performance arts happening in the city. Bengaluru schools are also receptive to the programmes,” says Kanchana. The Hindu Young World Under the Aaladamaraa will be held at the Army Public School, K. Kamaraj Road. There will also be evening showcases on August 29 at 7 p.m. at MLR, Whitefield and on August 30, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. at MLR, J.P. Nagar.

For more details and registration, visit, call 09731570615 or mail

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 11:13:11 PM |

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