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Exploring the many stories within the Ramayana

A lecture series hopes to explore the many stories that form the Ramayana narrative

The Ramayana is not just an epic enclosed in text. It has permeated into the Indian society becoming an integral part of it, with its stories and sub-stories retold in different forms.

These traditions of the epic will come to life when Imran Ali Khan the founder of Kiski Kahani: The Ramayana Project will explore its many versions in a session titled Renderings of The Ramayana. In the session, Khan would relive key moments of Valmiki’s Ramayana, read essays by scholars on the field and talk about many unknown facets of the epic.

 images from the collection Imagination Chariot: The Ramayana Clock by Kate Hirons
Images from the collection Imagination Chariot: The Ramayana Clock by Kate Hirons

In 2010, Khan conceptualised Kiski Kahani: The Ramayana Project. This project attempted to create a repository of the vast array of Ramayana stories, and encouraged intellectual engagement and foster critical enquiry.

Khan says that it was during this period that he was mentored by translator and director Arshia Sattar who generated an interest in the Ramayana in him. “In the project we will talk about Valmiki’s Ramayana and then go beyond it and discuss how different communities in the country have their own telling of the epic,” he says.

During the project he also edited a volume of essays on the diversity of the Ramayana tradition, entitled Kiski Kahani: An Anthology of Personal Journeys with the Ramayana.

Through the Lecture Series, Khan attempts to create a space to understand what allows this ancient but continually regenerated to transcend time and imagination. Apart from providing a platform for dialogue and debate, the lecture series will also open up ways to engage with the vast array of Ramayana traditions.

From: Tomorrow till May 20, 6.30 pm
At: Artisans’, VB Gandhi Marg, Kala Ghoda.
Cost: Rs 2000 (includes reading material)

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