A few months ago, we spotted some intriguing pictures on our PBChamp Priya Muthukumar's Facebook page (Storipur). Priya mentioned that she had taken Paplu to meet some kids in a village. The pictures had made us curious and we were waiting to hear the full story. Finally, here it is ...
In Priya's words ...
When I write a story (I’ve just started!) or choose a story to be told, besides various parameters , I pay attention to few pointers which I read somewhere~
- Will the story and it’s characters add to the listener’s mental image?
- Will they relate to how the character is feeling?
- Will it help them feel that they are in the story?
- Will it hold their attention? Will they remember the story, atleast for awhile?
Now, will all these be possible, if one is going to be telling the story to an audience who do not understand the language , you speak?
Given that brief, let’s move on to a real-life story. Briefly we had met ~ Tripti Raj and I . And then our bond became stronger, thanks to the social media. Tripti in her usual exuberant self, shared with me about her dream of telling stories to a group of warm and humble villagers in a hamlet near Vishakapatnam. She along with her team (Liter of Light, Bangalore) was working on a project of providing light for this village and she wanted the storytelling session to be the grand finale. When she asked me to help her with the storytelling , I was more than to happy to take the plunge!
The story that popped in my head, was ‘Paplu the Giant’. I had narrated several versions of this story to several groups of children. It has remained one of my all-time favourites! Okay, the next task was to script it to suit our audience in the village. I remembered watching a Telugu film as a kid and one thing that remained afresh in my memory about the film was the repetitive, magic words used in the movie, from that emerged my own tweaked version of the words ~ jimbalakadi pamba, pambalakadi jimba. This was included in our story-script. Words in Telugu, the local language, were sprinkled here and there, ammayi, abbayi, maavayya, rakshasudu. I also shared with Tripti the idea of making a giant Paplu with the kids .With yours truly scripting the story and Tripti rehearsing and preparing for her first story session, the big day arrived. Now, to know about the rest, read Tripti’s experience and the connections she made, in her own words, below~
No, I am saying no more. It was surreal to listen to Tripti’s experience at the village. Yes, irrespective of the languages we speak, we do connect with each other...well, this time it was through stories!
Every time, I think about this, my heart swells up with pride and warmth. Storipur is proud to have collaborated with Liter of Light, Bangalore on this truly unique story experience. And Pratham Books, we love all those, ‘easy- to- relate to’ stories that you publish... and Paplu who became Ramudu will remain in our hearts forever!