A gaggle of storytellers in Kerala is making a group of listeners one Malayalam story at a time
Oru Palathinte Katha (The Story of a Bridge) narrated by Anitha Ranjit is a narrative about how former Chairman and Managing Director of the Delhi Metro Rail E Sreedharan, on the time a younger engineer, rebuilt Rameshwarams’ Pamban bridge in document time after a cyclone swept away most of it in 1964. The story, uploaded on September 28, is likely one of the fashionable ones instructed by the Fb group of storytellers, Kadalakkadalas.
Amongst those that listened to it had been descendants of khalasis, conventional boat builders from Malabar, who had been a part of rebuilding the bridge. They reached out to the staff grateful for the popularity to their grandfathers’ contribution.
Kadalakkadalas, loosely translated, means ‘the paper wrapping of peanuts’, and the opening montage of every story reveals peanuts being roasted seen by way of a torn newspaper. “Earlier than throwing away the piece of paper peanuts come packed in, a few of us learn it out of curiosity. Every paper has a narrative and that resonated with what we needed to do,” says founding father of the group Racika Raman, a instructor coach and passionate storyteller.
Kadalakkadalas has ‘instructed’ 40 tales since its launch on July 17.
Collaborating with Racika, on the undertaking, are Anitha Ranjit, Geetha Ananth, Nishi Menon, Sangeetha Sreehari, Ninoj Abraham, and Smitha Nair. All of the members attended a learners’ course by Bengaluru-based Kathalaya, which has branches in varied cities and organises storytelling programs throughout the nation. Racika has its Kochi franchise.
Of enjoyable and folks tales
The tales are drawn from various sources akin to Kottarathil Sankunni’s Ithihyamala, Malayalam folks tales and even originals written by members. Calicut-based college instructor Sangeetha narrated Ente Swantham Upuma (My Personal Upma), which she wrote. “If, sooner or later, we use tales with dwelling authors, we might request permission to keep away from copyright points,” Racika clarifies.
The main target of the group is to inform tales in Malayalam, about Kerala. The reason being that there are only a few folks doing this, in contrast to different South Indian languages.
Racika says she had been toying with the thought even earlier than lockdown. As had been retired financial institution worker Geetha Ananth who additionally needed to get into storytelling.
“Lockdown got here and I couldn’t get into it. Round this time, Racika mooted this concept,” she says. The undertaking served as a platform to hone their abilities as effectively. The group desires to go sluggish, preferring word-of-mouth publicity and rising organically.
Kadalakkadalas posts two tales weekly, on weekends, of 5 to eight minutes and typically longer relying on the story. “Initially we had been importing a bigger quantity per week. Followers instructed us they had been lacking content material, so we determined to repair the quantity at two per week,” says Geetha. The tales are additionally posted on YouTube on their eponymous channel.
For many of those folks it is a first. Besides Ninoj, all of them have given it a go. Work commitments saved the IT skilled away however he’s preparing with a few tales. He has been concerned within the technical facet and got here up with the identify for the group. Some tales have been subtitled by Anitha, however later stopped as work on the web page elevated.
Storytelling isn’t new to Smitha, however filming was new as was narrating them in Malayalam. “My Malayalam isn’t ‘literary’, it’s conversational. I wasn’t positive if it could work; additionally, I’ve labored with a reside viewers in an interactive setting…all that is new to me,” she says. For Anitha it is a first, “Since I’ve not practised storytelling, ‘telling’ the digital camera was not tough as it’s not a reside session.” The exercise has fostered a bond between the members of the group. It has additionally given Nishi, Sangeetha and Smitha the arrogance to make use of Malayalam extra. “I don’t know so many issues about Malayalam and Kerala…I’m studying extra about issues,” Nishi says.
Sangeetha provides, “This was a superb factor throughout attempting occasions, I even began writing alone.”
Every story is constructed round a theme, first mentioned among the many core group of seven members after which with a ‘useful resource’ group comprising students and academics aware of Malayalam language and literature. The tales are researched to keep away from factual errors.
Though group members take turns, in addition they encourage folks from their community to take part. Visitor storytellers akin to Leena Olappamanna, Swathee Elamon, and Chakiyarkoothu artist Edanadu Rajan Nambiar add to the range.
To date, the suggestions has been encouraging, the group intends to maintain the momentum going.