Monsters aren’t always scary creatures that give us nightmares and haunt our waking moments. Sometimes even the insidious thoughts in our head can assume grotesque shapes and monstrous proportions, as frightening as medusoid curls, blood-stained fangs, curved horns and sharp claws.
March 22 saw 10 city-based storytellers regaling their audience with a multitude of stories set around the theme Monsters and Dragons . The event, part of a series of a storytelling marathons conducted by the Bangalore Storytelling Society (BSS) was held at the Rangasthala Auditorium, Rangoli Metro Art Centre, MG Road.
“This particular event was held to mark World Storytelling Day (WSD), an international event to celebrate the art of oral storytelling which was held on March 20 this year,” says Sowmya Srinivasan, Secretary of the BSS.
“The World Storytelling theme is decided well in advance through a poll,” adds Deeptha Vivekanand, president of the association. “Last year it was Fortunes and Fates, next year it’s Wishes, this year of course is Monsters and Dragons.”
And the storytellers managed to interpret the theme beautifully-- the stories told were interesting, diverse and hugely entertaining. From Lavanya whose unique story of a transgender battling prejudice-- his monster to Vikram’s Naga story, Sowmya’s Gredal monster from the epic poem Beowulf, Chitra’s Griffin, Ameen’s Hungarian shooter who conquers his own personal demon—self doubt, Chuck’s personal encounter with a monster, Shreya’s dragon story, Neeta’s Badrakali, Falak’s story on the monstrous disease-- Cancer and Rashmi’s tale of the monster within every human being, every single story delved deep into the heart and mind leaving its audience moved, amused, scared and touched in equal measure.
The hosts for the evening, Deeptha and Aparna wove an interesting narrative through the stories, keeping their audience glued to their seats with their quirky dialogue, audience involvement and lots of laughter. The event ended with the hosts attempting to discover the people in the audience’s own monster which ranged from the boss to homework, a spouse and so on.
“This society was set up to popularize oral storytelling and create platform for adults to create and listen to stories,” says Deeptha.
“Too many people assume that storytelling is for children,” adds Sowmya. “But that’s not true. Stories can do so much. We all love stories because they connect us. After all, everyone has a story to tell.”