We grow as we learn and we learn as we grow. Story entertains, inspires, and enhances knowledge and experience. Educationists and Psychologists have been striving to make the process of Learning very interesting and Storytelling is always learning friendly.
The Fourth edition of Udaipur Tales, International Storytelling Festival held at Bamboo saa resort &spa, Udaipur from 11 to 13 November,22 put another feather in the cap of Cultural scenario of Udaipur.
Stories were told in different forms and flavors like From Valor to romance, from pathos to humor, from history to science and from mythology to current issues. This International Festival had story tellers from Dubai (Gagan Mudgal) to Srilanka(Dr.Samanthiya Fernando) and International story tellers who have given performances world over.
Varun Narain from Delhi displayed tremendous power of puppets in narrating his stories on “Potli ke bahar kahani ke andar” a traditional tale and “The world wood web” scientific tale using his innovative glove and rod puppets. More than 2200 children of local Schools enjoyed the interactions with puppets.
World fame story teller and founder of Mumbai Storytellers Society, Usha Venkatraman presented “House of Sun and Moon” for children and “The queen of Dandkarayna Surpankha” for the adults. Her in-depth research and exclusive style imbibing songs made her stories interesting.
Dr.Santhushya Fernando from Srilanka is poet, author, singer, dancer and actor besides medical doctor narrated untold stories of Srilanka engrossing attention of adults and children as well. A young theatre artist of Udaipur Sandip Sen presented folk tale of Guru Chela entertaining children.
Gagan Mudgal from Dubai read satirical story “Inspector Matadeen Chand par” creation of Harishakar Parsai blending effective voice modulation.
Dr. Himanshu Bajpayee from Lucknow presented the story of ‘Kakori Kand’ in ‘Dastan Goi’ and kept audience spell bound. While narrating the story of freedom fighters Ashfaqulla Khan and Ram Prasad Bismil, he emphasized on high values and communal harmony. His flawless engrossing presentation received standing ovation.
Noted actress Sushmita Mukherjee presented story of ‘Nari Bai’ based on the Bednies involved in prostitution profession. She handled numerous characters with immense precision through songs, dances and high caliber of acting that left indelible impressions on the hearts of Udaipurites. She was honored with prolonged applaud.
‘Contemporary’ story of Pritwiraj Chowdhari from Mumbai was dedicated to the youth. Through his real story he inspired youngsters for rational thinking.
Shantanu Guha Ray, noted author and journalist with passion of storytelling engrossed audience in his small crime stories and thrillers.
Mission of Udaipur Tales—
The fourth edition of Udaipur Tales International Storytelling Festival has been curated in this background to instill hope, promise and faith in the universal truth.
According to couple behind this Mega event Sushmita Singha and Salil Bhandari, UDAIPUR TALES has a clear vision to popularize the oral tradition Story Telling. It envisages a platform where the young and old can participate and enjoy storytelling and grow rich in values and experience that restore our humanness.
Udaipur Tales has been conceptualized to conserve this heritage of oral form and promote transmission of powerful thoughts in an entertaining environment. We believe that orally told stories leave a deep impact and sow a seed of thought which have the power of transformation of individuals and the society.
Divy Sharma, a passionate, storyteller, script writer, lyricist from Mumbai displayed his tremendous talent in his story “Slice of Life”. His character “Amol” a young man from lower middle class became real hero in life. He simply mesmerized the audience.
Krishnendu Saha, a young talented Guru of Oddisssi recently settled in Udaipur mesmerized with his illustrious performance of “Dashavtar”,a wonderful story presented trough his supple body and intense facial expressions. His divine recital received standing ovation.
Treat for Children-
It was a fun for the children to visit the venue just on the foothills of Sajjan Garh experiencing cultural activities in the fresh oxygen. They enjoyed Pawari(Tribal wind instrument of South Gujarat) dance by the Dang Tribe. This festival offered a great opportunity for children to watch and interact with renowned story tellers and performers. Instant Storytelling competition,Handicrafts, exclusive items, organic stall and street food etc. were other attractions of the Festival.
Music makes us Happy--
The Festival had a wide range of musical performances for children and adults. They listened melodious and stimulating songs from the artistes of Udaipur Central Jail Band named ‘Out of the Box’. This Band is an initiative of Shikhantars’s Swaraj University. Manish Jain deserves high praise for this venture. The creative compositions of music teacher Priyank Kashyap rendered by prisoners Sunil Deora,Ravi Dudhani, Badal and Pappu stole the show.
Evening stage performances included different genre of Music.The Jugalbandi of Roohani Sisters (Dr. Jagriti Luthra Prasanna and Dr,Neeta Pandey Negi sprinkled soothing drops of Sufi music and took listeners to another world of Bhajan,Sugam Sangeet Nirgun Bhajan and Quawali. The other variety was Indo Western Band of Anurag Srivastava and Archit Daniel was a treat of melodious and energetic songs mixing Western and Bollywood Songs. They made audience dance.
‘Ibaadat’ on the concluding evening was a musical drama presented by a talented team of singers, poets, anchors and scholars. Their presentation was focused on the life, philosophy and creative works of the legend shayar Sahir Ludhiyanvi. Through informal conversation, screen shots, videos and live songs the team enhanced knowledge of audience about many unknown incidents of Sahir Ludhiyanvi. Many songs were emotionally arresting and compelled audience to sing together. The Idea was superb but needed some editing to make it crispier.
The anecdotes of renowned actor Vinay Pathak was the last presentation of the Festival. While talking to Gangan Mudgal on stage he narrated small stories of his past to the current blending humor.
Sanjay Shubhankar presented his story ‘Jo bhi karega ab vo hi karega’ . With enormous creativity he magically weaved characters of Hindu Gods and common people and kept audience engrossed. His craft with perfect voice modulation was a wonderful treat.
Sharing responsibility of anchoring of the Festival RJ Rajat, Ompal, Damini and enthusiast Shruti Mantri did their best in introducing main artistes on stage.
Looking at the overwhelmed response and thick attendance of Children, the team Udaipur Tales has to consider about enlarging the space.
Slowly the movement of storytelling is gearing up in Udaipur which was experienced during the short stories told by the local talented children in Hindi, English and Mewari. Our New Education Policy also emphasizes on imbibing creative arts in School Education curriculum along with promoting local languages.
Storytelling will go a long way in instilling creative thinking, writing and expressing. Hope the fifth edition of Udaipur Tales includes more ancient and innovative forms of storytelling like Panduwan Ka Kada of Mewat ,Chitrakathi of Konkan,Bahurupi from various states.
Sushmita Singha and Salil Bhandari with their My Anchor and Thalagiri team lead by Chirag Mehta deserve applaud for their efforts to organize such an interesting Festival.