The tradition of oral narrative, or the art of storytelling, is something that has been with there ever since the origin of humanity, but with the flow of time, the significance of the art was gradually decreasing.
To regain the value of the dying art, and acknowledge its importance, people are again taking up Storytelling as their full-time profession.
Vikram Sridhar, a professional Storyteller from Bangalore, chose to take up the profession as his bread and butter.
Vikram, who was initially a marketing head with a mechanical engineering degree, chose to be a full-time storyteller quitting his job, just driven by passion. Explaining to what influenced him to take such a decision, he said that this was his passion since the beginning, but because of social restrains it took him some time to take it up as his full-time profession.
He is a believer of the basic ideology, “Stories we hear make the world of today, stories we tell make the world of tomorrow.”
To describe his motif, Vikram says that he wanted to change the way stories are perceived. He points out there are a lot of problems with how stories are perceived and there are misconceptions prevailing in the society because of wrong storytelling.
“There is a lot of problem with how stories are told to children today. There are lots of stereotypes and lot of issues stories in English has brought in between translation. And wrong information about a lot of things, about animals, just saying, ‘all foxes are cunning’. I wanted to change the way stories are perceived. The bias and baggage we create also depends on the stories we here.” he said.
Vikram is the founding member of Bangalore Storytelling Society and co-founder of the theater group Tahatto, where he is also an active participant. His storytelling workshops are not limited to only children, he holds workshops for the teenagers and the adults as well.
“Stories are for everyone. In today’s time when everything is influenced by technology, we don’t sit and talk, we don’t communicate. And stories gather people together and give them space to talk about themselves, share their experiences. Stories bring out the emotions that are stuck in the technological world of emojis.” he said
“When it comes to adults, I open up stories very differently, of course, there is an open-mike for personal stories but I do stories like folklore and epics for adults because these are stories that have come to us over generations and if we don’t tell it anymore it will be lost.” he added
Vikram has also come up with initiatives like ‘Around the Story Tree’ that connects people to the natural world through storytelling. He is one of the founding members of The Bangalore Story Telling Festival.
Again, Lopamudra Mohanty, a storyteller from Mumbai, who is the owner of a company called 'Big Buddy World' says that storytelling not only bridges the gap between the communicators but also can be used to extend awareness about several social and environmental issues.
"Stories help them to pick up moral values faster as they relate it to the characters in the story. We also influence them to create their own stories, to help them communicate better." she said.
Although the objective impression of storytelling is to help the children learn to read independently, it also has a therapeutic influence on them. Sharing her experience in one of her projects, she claims storytelling has helped the girls rescued from trafficking to come back to a normalcy.
She further added that parents should tell stories to their children as it is strengthens the bond between the parents and their children.
"Parents need to drive this culture of reading in the family, for a lot of workshops that I do with the parents, to create an awareness of how reading to your children or telling stories to your them gives you the opportunity to involve with them better in the fast moving lifestyle," she stated.
The profession of Storytelling has seen a massive growth in the recent years as people have started taking their passion seriously and are investing their best to contribute to the welfare of the society.