World Storytelling Day: Listen to these top Indian storytellers if you haven't yet
These contemporary popular Indian storytellers reach out to their audiences and break conventions not just in terms of topics and storylines but also in terms of medium.
The charm of stories by grandmas is unmatchable. She taught us important life lessons as she wove fairy tales of fairies and demons. And somewhere in between, we grew up. This part of our childhood is still cherished by most of us.
To relive those memories, many storytellers are now available at the click of a button. The stories have evolved so you can understand the deeper meaning of lives. You can find most of these stories on Youtube and spend this weekend learning about different worlds and some inspiring people.
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Neelesh Misra worked as a journalist before switching to writing stories. He is an Uttar Pradesh native from a small town. Storytelling and writing are the hobbies that led him to a different career path. His radio programme "Yaadon ka Idiot Box" immediately gained popularity among listeners. Many people were moved by his stories, and he was loved for his work. "Mera naam hai Neelesh Misra, Kahaniyaan sonata hoon" is his go-to phrase for every story, and it always gets a thrilling response from the crowd. He has contributed as a writer and lyricist in various Bollywood movies, including Bodyguard, Ek Tha Tiger, Tiger Zinda Hai, Shamshera, and the upcoming Tiger 3. Do listen to his stories now available on YouTube.
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Many might know him now as an actor and filmmaker, but he gained immense popularity years ago as Kahanikaar Sudhanshu Rai, a storyteller who takes listeners on a journey unseen and unexplored every week with his stories. He started on social media and other digital platforms. He swiftly rose the popularity chart to host his own show - Kahaniyaan, Kahanikaar Sudhanshu Rai Ke Saath - on a leading FM radio station. Thereafter, he made his acting and directorial debut with Chaipatti and is now playing the protagonist in an upcoming Bollywood sci-fi psychological thriller. One of his characters, Detective Boomrah, was made into a web series recently, while Sudhanshu has also conducted live storytelling sessions. And the best, he still comes up with new and captivating stories almost every week on his official channel on YouTube.
Yes you read it right, we are talking about Bollywood’s own Vikram Bhatt. Known for his thriller and horror films, Vikram Bhatt entered the world with ‘The Audio Film Project’, which aired on a popular radio channel from Monday to Saturday as an audio web series. Hailed as the king of spooky cinema, it was not surprising that his audio project too was a thriller with horror elements. With a tagline that said, ‘listen to it with your eyes closed’ one can only appreciate the magic that he weaves with the words. The story of Sia, who travels from Kanpur to Delhi to search for her missing journalist sister is interesting right from the first episode.
The PM mentioned this storyteller par excellence during his Mann ki Baat show as one of the notable storytellers of the nation. She is actually the country's oldest storyteller. She didn't simply start out as a solo storyteller; she also founded The Academy of Storytelling, the top institution for prospective storytellers. The Kathalaya Trust, founded by Geeta Ramanujam, employs the power of storytelling to strive to better society. The seasoned storyteller believes that every tale has the power to improve young people's minds because of how their thinking affects their creativity. She is adamant that listening effectively comes before everything else, hence her stories frequently feature first-person accounts from everyday people.
She is a psychologist who has been a storyteller for 12 years. Her venture SoulSpaceStorytell is the perfect space to develop storytelling and theatre techniques and develop creative thinking. She is a founding member of the non-profit Bangalore Storytelling Society, which fosters, supports, and raises awareness of the Art of Oral Storytelling. She has joined forces with four other storytellers from all around India to create the Indian Storytellers' Healing Network (ISHN), whose mission is to share inspiring tales with the community. She firmly believes in the healing and restorative abilities of stories and storytelling, and she intends to devote her life to collecting tales from all around the world.