Creeping it real

Updated: Oct 09, 2019, 07:55 IST | Dalreen Ramos |

In the mood for Halloween, five storytellers come together this Sunday to share spooky tales inspired by folklore from all around the world

What began as a sacred three-day festival for the Celts in Europe has now transformed into costume parties and a tradition of trick or treating in the United States. Drawing from this Western concept, Halloween in India is no different; it's restricted to some horror theme. But this Sunday, the Mumbai Storytellers Society comprising a group of six storytellers hopes to light a spark of cultural awareness in children and parents through a unique event titled Spooktacular Stories.

At Andheri's Harkat Studios, the one-hour session will feature Deepa Kiran, Hema Subramanian, Lopamudra Mohanty, Sherin Mathews and Shreedevi Sunil narrate tales based on folklore, myth and superstitions from all over the world. The concept emerged out of the realisation that there is a dearth of traditional storytelling as opposed to platforms where people share their personal narratives. The event will see each storyteller narrate tales for eight to 10 minutes with interactive games, too. To add to the mood of the season, Shreedevi says that they would also like children to be dressed in Halloween costumes.

The society conducts monthly events for adults and children
The society conducts monthly events for adults and children

"Since they are children, our goal is not to scare them. These stories are spooky but also silly — like one where you discover that the ghost is probably a cat," she informs, adding that her story is based in North America. "We induce culture into the telling, whether it is through a song, dance or even accent. For instance, if we're delivering a story that is originally a Tamil one, then the word for ghost is pey. So, the children, learn through context."

Although this week's event is targeted towards a younger audience, the group will also have a similar one next Friday at Bandra's MCubed Library that is aimed for seven- to 14-year-olds. They are also planning an international festival in January where they will look to feature folklorists from different countries. Shreedevi concludes, "We don't read enough folktales to our children, so we especially want parents to accompany them for the event. Because we may read something to them once, but they can carry this tradition forward."

Shreedevi Sunil
Shreedevi Sunil

On October 13, 11 am onwards
At Harkat Studios, Aram Nagar 2, Versova, Andheri West.
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Cost Rs 250

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