Modern oral tales to mesmerize tradition

New Delhi: A belief that storytelling is an art confined to an older generation could be misplaced, especially when one encounters artists from across the world, who regale audiences with their treasure trove of stories narrated with great visual impact.
 
Ghummakad Narain – a travelling children`s literature festival featuring storytellers from UK, Japan, India, France and Australia showcased such vibrant talent here recently.

The week-long event in the last week of September, say organisers, was aimed at inculcating reading habits and stirring the imagination of television-bound children.
 
Participating storytellers drew from folktales passed down orally among communities or spun a tale inspired by their surroundings. Dominic Kelly, a storyteller from UK picks his inspiration from wild landscapes.
 
"I grew up in the mountains of the Lake District in northern England, and its rocky misty hills did a lot to stimulate my imagination when I was young," says Kelly.
 
Relating traditional stories, folktales, wonder tales, legends, myths, ghost stories, urban myths to real life experiences and making them relevant to modern times is a challenge well accepted by these artists.
 
"As a storyteller one brings stories to alive by relating them to one`s own experience, no matter how old they are. In this way they stay relevant to the time in which they are told," says Kelly.