India should revive its story telling tradition: Rundle

Kolkata, Feb 9: The Indian art of 'Kathokatha' or tradition of oral story-telling should not be allowed to pass into oblivion, says famed British story-teller Sarah Rundle.

Sarah, who recently took part in a story-telling session in the Kolkata Book Fair, told that she had been quite impressed by the wit and humour of folk story-tellers in a live show in New Delhi, before she came to Kolkata. She herself had participated in the story-telling meet in New Delhi.

sarah rundle kolkata

"You have a fascinating tradition of indigenous story tellers. Putting that in museum will trigger its slow death," she said.

Sarah in this context referred to the scenario in the UK, where tales dating back to medieval ages are acted out on stage by solo performers in modern settings.

"More than 70 story-telling clubs have come up in our country as the interest of people has risen over this unique oral art form. Why should not the same happen in India, which has such a glorious tradition of village folk-tellers?" she wondered.

Sarah, who embarked on "The Art of Story telling India Tour" across three cities, said she felt more charged up when the audience became interactive by actively participating in the event.

Explaining what story-telling connotes, the globetrotting story-teller said, "When you stage a play based on Anton Chekhov or William Shakespeare's works, there is a set text and stage props. But in story-telling, I am the performer who acts out the sequences."

Told about 'Monday Club' in the early 20th century in Kolkata, the brainchild of Sukumar Ray, maker of nonsense rhyme, Sarah said, "We have similar ones like Crack Crick Club. You should revive the tradition."


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