I had learnt a beautiful song in Scotland from an Italian storyteller which went
Rest for a while now, the night is young , Time is short and the road is long……. I experienced this bliss and the feel of the air as I traveled through Tripura and Agartala…..
Tripura is a magical land not because it has the blue waters and castles but because the people are amazing. There is a sense of calmness and beauty in the way they are. They just seem to be accepting of things that come their way. I wondered why I felt so relaxed despite traveling over 100 kms each day and also training at the National School of Drama.
I went to a beautiful place up the mountains towards the old capital of Tripura and stopped by the way side deep inside the mountains. Why? I saw a woman weaving and watched her face as she did so. The little children were watching from the windows and she kept weaving a bright orange and red wrap around. I, bringing in my urban air, asked if I could buy one of them and she answered my colleague Surajid in the Kokporak language, one of the main languages here besides Bangla, that nothing was for sale.
She was weaving it for herself.
Amongst the beautiful sights and sounds that I observed I came across a lane called LOVE STORY BAZAAR LANE. All the competition, jealousies aggressiveness and envy that the urban environment was trying to create within me seemed to completely mellow down.
The 18 students at the NSD centre were amongst the best I had ever trained so far. Their body language, expressions and innovative thoughts of creating stories was unimaginably wonderful. While all of them included songs music and folklore in their presentations many of them used just the local materials around to tell their tales. There were stories of Why we wear shoes and How the knife became the onion’s mentor when the onion asked why people cried while peeling it?
There were stories of the Red Panda and the Grimms besides the Arabian tales that added to the repertoire of the story collection.
When I met an Ayurvedic doctor to discuss a little problem we ended up chatting for an hour and half and he narrating tales of people who settled in spaces like Mother Teresa or foreigners in Benaras who just went by their heart and not the head. I came back healed, refreshed and alive.
Even a storyteller needs stories.