An Erudite Evening of Storytelling

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In my previous blog I mentioned how I became a member of a Book Club and I also mentioned that it is a varied group of people coming together for the love of the written word. That day we had  Book reading session for kids and this was an Erudite Evening of Storytelling.

One of our members ,Surendra Majety, a lawyer by qualification, an enterprising entrepreneur and to top it all, a prolific writer. He started writing while he was in college and he has written many skits, plays, and short stories. His plays have been aired on the radio, short stories published in the newspapers and his plays enacted on stage. He likes doing offbeat things and he is enchanted by creativity. Once we came to know that we have such an amazing writer in our midst, we decided to have a story telling session.

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The writer Surendra

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The storyteller Kiran

Kiran and Ramana volunteered to play the gracious hosts and they opened the doors of their splendid home for us. Kiran also volunteered to be the storyteller. We all were looking forward to the absorbing session and I set out to pick up Jasmit and Swati. We had an adventurous ride going round in circles but still we were the first to reach Ramana’s house. The star of the evening, Surendra arrived with his accomplished wife, Dr.Madhavi.

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The story published in a newspaper

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Rapt Audience

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We waited for everyone to arrive and amid gossip and a refreshing summer drink, there was lots of chatter as well. There were lots of goodies to tuck into and everyone had their fill.Then Kiran started the story reading and she had an enraptured audience as the stories were very engrossing and interesting, related to everyday situations.

Let me share a gist of the two stories. The first story was A mother’s love letter to her son. The story is about a family of four; mother, son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter. The mother leads a secluded life as none of the others in the family spend any time with the octogenarian mother. Though her needs are well taken care of, she yearns for her family to spend time with her. One day the son admonishes his daughter for not talking to his mother or sleeping with her in her room. The next day the mother tells her son that she wants to visit the Draaksharaamam temple. He arranges for her to be taken to the temple. The mother leaves a letter for her in their Pooja room. After reading it the son is moved and he rushes out to the car and asks the driver to get out and he drives his mother to the temple himself. On returning home he lies in his mother’s lap and reminisces about the contents of the letter.

 She tells him that at that age she has no connection with the world except her son who was her own blood. She requests her son to try and talk to her for just five minutes a day, sharing his daily stuff which would give her immense happiness in this last stage of her life.

The crux of the story is that one should spend some quality time with one’s parents which would make the old souls happy and give them a sense of belonging. Luxuries and comforts can never compare with your company.

The second story was “Mooga Manushulu” which means Dumb People. This story is on a lighter note, ridiculing the present day scenario of the young generation being hooked to Smartphones. They compulsively carry their mobiles wherever they go. The outdoors, classroom, the bathroom, the bedroom; the phone is always in hand like an extra limb.

The head of the family requests everyone to refrain from using the cell phone at the dining table so that the family can have a conversation while having supper as that has become a rarity!

The dad and son meet with an accident while riding home on the bike the driver of the car which hit them was busy talking on his mobile while driving. Father and son were advised bed rest for a month during which time the son realizes the difference between real and virtual friendship. While his father’s friends, colleagues visited him every day that he was recuperating, he got only hundreds of WhatsApp messages wishing him a speedy recovery and Facebook links on physiotherapy to help him get on his feet.

One fine Sunday, about 10 of his father’s friends come to visit him and spend the whole day in their house. Before coming over they ordered for snacks and lunch from a nearby eatery for all so that they do not trouble the lady of the house. The son watched the way they played and made his limping father too to dance with them! Now he wished that his friends visited him.

Finally, the son admits that mobile phones are affecting communication between people and destroying human relationships. Short messaging has become the norm, replacing face-to-face interactions.These stories on relevant day-to-day topics touched a chord inside. If after the first story we were teary-eyed, we were in splits during the second one. The stories show how Surendra reacts to life around him and how perceptively he puts it all down in ink.

The enthralled audience  was spellbound all this while and after the pin-drop silence, there was a huge roar of applause for Surendra. Then Ramana gave us a grand tour of his palatial home and everyone stayed put in the library. I dragged my feet to go home as I didn’t want this erudite evening of storytelling to end.

 

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