What do you say?

Just the other day, some of the kids told me I’ve been saying the wrong word in Telugu for story all this time. My friends, this is a word I use often. The title of my project, remember (if I’ve ever told you) is “To Tell A Story”. It’s all due to the infernal way my ears fail to hear the difference between the letters D and T. kata. kada. kata. kada. See the problem?

In the story of the tellings, Sunday was a big day, the movie filming day. We marathoned through sunlit hours to film all 11 scenes of the puppetry movie we’re preparing on behalf of the JJ Metta Memorial Foundation. There’s already been an extended history to this movie, corralling woolly memories of traditional Tolu Bommalata performances and chasing down promises of puppets through fast-flowing bandh days. I finally made it through to the Literacy House at Ousmania University to take a look at their wooden puppets, and from up a dusty top corner of a tall, tall cabinet they pulled a pile of



Pick your moral : Persistence pays off? The answer is under your nose… if you climb on chairs? Back at Sphoorti, we’ve been scrupulously coloring and cutting paper body parts to lay atop aluminum foil to lay atop cardboard to make shadow puppets whose jewels will shine in the sunlight. They came together with string, bamboo, packing tape, and glue-laden mishaps just in time for our grand Sunday shoot.

Movies – easily the most adored form of storytelling in the greater Hyderabad metropolitan area – have taken center stage at Sphoorti these past couple days, with a celebrity visit in honor of Republic Day neatly caboosing our own movie-making efforts. Informally, this spate marks the expansion of the great question to a ballooning group of performers. How to tell a story? The epic minds over at Adapting to Scarcity have been ping-ponging parabolic ideas with me, and recently they brought it to the audience. In this tale, as in so many others, we want to audience to take over the show. I just want to be part of the standing ovation. So please share – what draws you in? When do you start enjoying the story, and then… when do you find yourself telling it?



Filed under education, Hyderabad, India, Sphoorti Foundation

3 responses to “What do you say?

  1. In the time of festivals, people used to tell stories related to that festival, to carry the morals to the next generation.

    The oral way is seen as boring… so to get attraction of audience various arts are performed like kathakali, karakaatam, villu paatu, oyilaataam, mayilaaatam, poi kaal kuthirai, and so on.

  2. Becca

    Wow, I’ve never even seen all of those art forms mentioned before! Are some of them region-specific? Do you think that these storytelling forms still grab the attention of certain audiences, for example in rural areas, or do you find that they’ve entirely declined in favor of radio, television, and cinema? (I’ve heard all sorts of opinions around here)

  3. Pingback: Epidemic of travel « Travel Maven, Large Jet

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