HYDERABAD: Author Edward Miller said: “Stories are the repositories of our lore and legends.” And that’s how we remember people and places. They live on through words. Stories are told and retold both in good times and bad times. In these bleak times of Covid-19 pandemic, Hyderabad-based storyteller Deepa Kiran continues connecting with people through stories.
Even though they are on digital platforms, she has been conducting workshops and interactive sessions. She says, “We are all storytellers. When we form memories and narrate them they form a narrative of their own. A chain of words to bring several people together.” But isn’t art an inherent gift? “Yes, but since we all have these traits hidden inside us, the same can be developed. It shines more with focus on craft,” she adds.
During the lockdown, she has developed her meditative skills more which gives her narration more depth. Recently, World Storytelling Cafe, London, invited her for a session and a technical glitch led her connect more deeply with people sitting thousands of miles away.
She says, “Words act as bridges. It was such a wonderful experience of connecting with those who were on the similar wavelength as yours.”
The reason why her storytelling doesn’t appear monolithic is because she infuses many contemporary elements in her raconteuring. For example, if she’s narrating a chapter from Ramayana she uses modern images, “Say if I am talking about crossing countries I mention that there were no passports back then.
That way, kids and adults are able to connect better with ancient tales.” She’s been a voice-over artiste for years and is quite used to blind media of not noticing people’s reactions or expressions during her session so the digital performances do not bother her much. On the contrary a smile or a twinkle on a screen stays with her.
Other than mythology and folklore, she also uses science communication in her art. But how?
She explains, “I have done storytelling sessions of rainwater harvesting, saving the ancient rocks, and birdwatching. This slowly introduces the audience to the wonders of science and generate the need to understand it in simpler terms.” She also dances to mathematical beats which makes the audience guess correct formulae.