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Storytelling Takes a new turn

Storytelling Takes a new turn . A school close to Kathalaya asked us to take sessions for the middle and high school students on Public speaking through Storytelling. The word PUBLIC conjured a lot of memories in my mind. Social networking, facebook, expose and juxtapose our lives from Private to Public. Nothing is private any more. Of course we agreed to the school and as we were framing the curriculum and came across words like Motivation, Dreams etc I wondered if Public had any meaning and when I referred to the dictionary it meant the people constituting a community, state, ornation-a particular group of people with a common interest, aim, etc.

A particular group like us Storytellers with a common interest like traveling travelores, telling stories…..? I received a a comment from one of my favourite and dear Storytellers from Scotland on A little note of travels I had posted

Linda Williamson Geeta is the goddess of storytelling and Kathalaya her heart beating for the world.

I felt great elevated motivated, happy and at the same time a bit scared of the publicity.

Today media and social networking could be used for anything and everything. To ensure this my daughter showed me a beautiful touching Ted talk by Monica Lewinsky.I cried and felt empathy and compassion for all those who have been humiliated too by the wrong usage of the same media. So the story of the month would be Monica’s story of the price of shame and I urge you all to watch it.

Why was I touched by it? A person who came to Kathalaya promised to be with it forever and worked with us and one fine day just disappeared giving us the excuse that it is no longer sustainable and the next week started a STORYTELLING ORGANISATION, including taking away our signature song which we had used over 15 years. I was reminded of the Niti Kavya By Bharathrhari an Ethic related poem from our old books of Indian culture and thought.

The word Neeti refers to ones conduct in society. A verse which goes thus

Santaptayari samsthitasya payaso

Namapti s sruyate…

Meaning of the verse….. A water drop on a plate disappears without a trace, on a lotus leaf it shines like a pearl,when it falls into the cavity of an oyster shell in the sea one day when the Swati star rises in the sky , it turns into pearl.

So, too, a person imbibes lower, mediocre or exalted character from the people he associates with.

Public shaming as a blood sport has to stop,” says Monica Lewinsky. In 1998, she says, “I was Patient Zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously.” Today, the kind of online public shaming she went through has become constant — and can turn deadly. In a brave talk, she takes a hard look at our online culture of humiliation, and asks for a different way.

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