CHENNAI: Who said stories and storytelling sessions were only for kids? Vikram Sridhar, a performance storyteller from Bengaluru is in town to break the stereotype with an intimate storytelling session for adults – Stories in Sunset. “Remember how we used to go home in the evenings and listen to stories and gossip? It used to be a community thing or something we used to do with our grandparents. That’s what this session is going to be about,” says Vikram.
Having conducted a similar session in Bengaluru, he shares that the response was interesting. The best part about Stories in Sunset is the interactive story telling. “Who wouldn’t want their story to be told? Everyone is somehow involved in each story and it will be a series of unique stories,” he explains.
With experiences of participants and tidbits of their creativity, Vikram will weave a story that is unique and new. “Every story will be different. The audience would have never heard of it and I would have never narrated that story to any audience before,” he quips.
Talking about the stereotype of storytelling being only for children, Vikram says, “It’s just that we are apprehensive to try anything new. Stories are not only for kids; they are for adults too. Storytelling is experimental, creative and gives us new energy.”
His sessions will be a mix of mythology, folklore and a bit of personal experience to give a complete ‘masala’ session! “Since storytelling is interactive, I get my energy from the audience and evolve my story from them.”
Vikram recollects that his first act on stage was that of an old witch. “Maybe that was my first step towards storytelling and theatre. But unfortunately all this is considered under the ;extra-curricular’ category and no one really says that we can pursue a full-time career in it,” opines the MBA graduate.
Bringing people together and having conversations over stories that become a tool to conserve wildlife and nature is something Vikram specialises in — a reflection of this is his initiative, ‘Around the Story Tree’. “This was an initiative to question the stereotyping of animals, birds and nature in stories. Calling a crow black and a peacock beautiful is stereotyping. Gradually, as the child grows up, this becomes a tool that invokes racism! Similarly, a fox isn’t cunning and a snake isn’t poisonous…they are just metaphors which have been used indiscriminately.”
Vikram has only one vision — to break stereotypes about nature in stories and also to make a change in the conservation of the ecosystem through storytelling. “Even if my story makes a small difference in the minds of people on how they view nature and wildlife, I would be happy,” he shares. What inspires him? Pat comes the reply! “Nature, nature and nature. Next time you eat, think about how that food travelled from the farm to your table. It has a story to tell,” he adds.
Catch Vikram Sridhar live at Ashvita Nirvana on June 4 between 7pm – 8pm. For details, call 90033 65436.