Being a Woman
I love stories in any form, written or verbal and I still miss my mother’s story sessions. She came up with this amazing Private Eye called Rex Johnson who had the most enthralling adventures.Only now do I realise that she had borrowed liberally from Alistair Maclean! . To me story telling was always associated with the scents and sounds of childhood.Storytellers were mothers and grandparents and story sessions were also bonding sessions. I cannot imagine listening to a story without the prerequisite hugs and cuddles. Now alongwith everything else stories and storytellers have undergone a transformation. Children listen to stories from machines and they do not get a chance to ask questions or express awe, amazement or incredulity.
Imagine my surprise when I chanced upon the organisation called “The Moth” who are basically storytellers for adults ! There’s an interesting story behind how it was started. George Dawes Green, an American poet and novelist used to spend the evenings in his hometown of St Simon’s Island,Georgia, spinning stories and listening to stories from friends. In 1997 he moved to New York where he missed the warmth and camaraderie of those evenings. So he called over a couple of his friends and the first gathering of The Moth in New York happened. This idea gained momentum and now they are a huge organisation. You’ve got to visit their site. It’s an engrossing read and you can also listen to some of the stories that have been told. They are so beautiful in their simplicity and the story tellers are people like you and me.
It was then that I realised that even though story telling is such an integral part of Indian life, it’s gradually but surely dying. The advent of nuclear families, working parents and the television have ensured this. Somehow after reading about The Moth, I hope with all my heart that we can revive this tradition .