Kahani aur Kahanikar

कहानी और  कहानीकार  

A कहानी is a story.
A कहानीकार is a story teller.

Mention story telling to adults with respect to children and many adults automatically think of a story as something they must tell children. Something they must read to children, something they must dramatically sing, dance or otherwise impress children with. The adult is the anchor, the do-er, the teller of tales.Our program Kahani aur Kahanikar flips this around and tries to create a world where all of us, adults and children alike, must learn to be inclusive, respectful and accepting of each other – and of each other’s stories.

Kahani aur Kahanikar in progress at Ankur Vidyamandir Inclusive School, Pune.

Kahani aur Kahanikar in progress at Ankur Vidyamandir Inclusive School, Pune.

To do this, we must empathise.

We must experience some of the many thoughts, emotions and feelings of a story teller who has never or rarely shared a personal narrative with an audience.

We must understand that an audience member, a listener to a teller of tales, also has a responsibility. This is more than switching your cellphone off.

This is about tuning in.

This is about creating a space where a story teller, 6 years old or 60 years old – finds the safety, the tools, and the attention of even a one-member audience – to create and share a narrative.

Image contributed by Madhuri Deshpande, Founder - Ankur Vidyamandir Inclusive School, Pune.

Image contributed by Madhuri Deshpande, Founder – Ankur Vidyamandir Inclusive School, Pune.

 

Life is full of stories.

These narratives shape our lives, beliefs, our entire selves.

Whose narratives are these? Which are the narratives that find expression and audience? Some stories have been told and re-told by story tellers to audiences for centuries, others have not found an audience yet – and some, perhaps many stories – have not yet been told.

 

Kahani aur Kahanikar - A session in progress at Ankur Vidyamandir Inclusive School, Pune.

Kahani aur Kahanikar – A session in progress at Ankur Vidyamandir Inclusive School, Pune.

 

Perhaps your story is one of these. A story that has not yet found an audience – or a story that has not yet been told. Perhaps this story is within someone you teach, someone you look after, or your own child – and it has not yet found space and expression.

 

Kahani aur Kahanikar is a training program that we have designed for caregivers in educational and other spaces of care. It focuses on stories, storytellers and audiences. It trains and coaches adults, and children too, to be the audience, the facilitator of story telling, to tune in to the invisible, unspoken stories waiting to be told. We thank the team of teachers, administrators and ancillary staff at Ankur Vidyamandir Inclusive School (Pune), for the time and effort they are putting into this program. Most of all, we thank each student at this school for all that they bring to these sessions – imagination, experience, courage, the willingness to engage – and very often – recipes for samosas, idlis and fried rice. All included in the day’s story!

 

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