As a child, I remember being happy and content just sitting around the kitchen hearth, listening to my grandparents narrate stories of yore. Little did I know then, that many years later, this fond memory would find me yearning for such heartwarming days.
Stories have continued to fascinate me over the years. My much loved grandparents have lived their time and left us behind with the best of everything- stories, good times, happy childhoods, values to live by- and just about everything that is nice, warm, happy and beautiful.
|With Grandmom at 100 something|
I’ve also had the good fortune of listening to more stories from the elderly in villages other than my own. These were special times often accompanied with so much love and affection. I think of these stories that have, in many ways, shaped my thoughts and my understanding about my roots, and I wonder, what history or culture we would have without them.
And so, each time, something to do with storytelling takes place, I always get the warm, happy feeling of knowing that our stories will perhaps live on, after all.
Amongst the few initiatives that have taken seed in the recent past, I was especially drawn to the Baptist College Kohima Literature Fest for more reasons than one. I have heard of college literary weeks, but this was different, and nice to say the least. 'Sharing Stories', the very title that I chose is from their first edition that gave me immense hope and zeal.
It had the whole package- books, art, poetry, photographs, music, paintings, films, and food, of course. As a booklover, this was home for me as much as it is for any storyteller. And please note that each one of us is a storyteller. We only choose to tell them differently.
As humble as its beginning was, the enthusiasm with which the Literature Fest has been organised for two consecutive years, tells you that there are better days ahead! I especially liked the idea of the “Book Exchange” counter. It was here that I picked a copy of one of my favourite books. That people still read books, and are on the lookout for more books is something that warms my heart.
Storytellers need a place like this. To tell their stories through various art forms- a place where you can paint your thoughts, capture your thoughts, write your thoughts, play your thoughts (through films), and in numerous creative ways, share stories.
Such a platform is necessary because we are all in need of a space to grow our creative wings. And only in sharing stories can we learn and make efforts to preserve the rich cultural heritage of our land.