Thursday, March 15, 2007

Why has storytelling dissapeared?

Storytelling, although it is not recognized to be a great art, is a unique skill by it's own. Not everyone can tell a story with charm, attract your attention, and make you stare at them with awe. I remember my mother used to read stories from Sanskrit Chandamamma to me, Ajji told me about the epic tales of Ramayan and Mahabhrat, and also there was the famous book Dinnakondu Kathe from which I read stories everyday. Now, I am sixteen, and I have observed that today's kids have been largely deploid of this pleasure. Bedtime stories, great legacies, tales that only your Grandparents can recite have diminished into nothingness because today's kids are just not interested in the "old fairytales" and "Granny's tall tales". Even the parents are too busy with their work, and nobody ever finds the time to read nice bedtime stories to their kids, and soothingly put him to sleep. I think, fairytales, fantasies, and other such stories are a vital part of a child's life. It is very important for a kid, because it stimulates his imagination. It is very sad, indeed that the world is losing out on such pleasures...only a handful of people read Chandamamma anymore, and slowly, story books are decreasing in their worth and value.


Madhukar - VU2MUD said...

Very true. With the increase in treand of nuclear families - a move away from joint families - and with both parents working, there is absolutely no time for a family get together - let alone time for telling stories.

I remember that one of the best time for story telling in my young days was during the power cuts. Now with inverters and back up power awailable - even that time slot is missed.

I still remember the stories by my grandmother.

I really pity the present day child. The stories they hear is all about superman - spiderman and the like.

head n heart said...

how can there be grandma's tall tales at home when homes are bereft of grandmas and grandpas these days??? as rightly put by sri madhukar, children do not even get that breaktime from studies due to power cuts, that used to be so much looked forward to by kids during summer evenings. bed time these days is a bugged out time for everybody in the family that no one has the energy left to tell stories to fan the imagination of kids. it is only WWF heroes on the TV who make our children lose all sensitivity towards other's pain and these kids think it is fun to be violent! alas! it is the days of bed time violence now - both on and off the TV !

latha vidyaranya

Krishna Vattam said...

I am proud of my grand daughter,Lakshmi, who , God willing, has all traits to blossom as a good creative writer, as she was showing these signs fight from age 14.She was instrumental in my taking to blog, to which GVK has made reference. Krishna Vattam

parvathivattam said...

Yes dear lakshmi as you have rightly put it neither the parents have the time to narrate the stories nor the children find it intersting to hear stories from parents. Why is this so?? Are todays children fasinated by VIKRAM BETAL STORIES,CHANDAMMA STOREIS?? No they try to find superman in Raja vikrama's character, of adventures of spiderman in chandamama stories. This problem has become more intense because the images of spiderman or superman are being overlaped on historical characters with which we are familar but not our kids.

Sujatha said...


I'm happy to report that it doesn't have to be this way. It all depends on how we interact with children and what we teach them. If television is the mainstay of their entertainment then that's what they will turn to. What our children read and what they imbibe, to a large extent, is within the control of parents, at least during the early years when habits are formed. My seven year-old loves the Panchantantra tales, the Dashavathara tales, the books by Pratham, and loves to listen to stories from his grandparents. He also loves Harry Potter and Spiderman and Superman and Narnia. Until he was six years old, I read to him every night before putting him to bed; now he goes to bed with a book most nights until it's time to switch off the light.

It all depends on our priorities. It is right of course that kids move along with the times and are exposed to what is current in their generation, but there is no reason why they should lose out on stuff we enjoyed growing up with.

Liked your first couple of posts. Hope you keep writing! Good luck.

Anand said...

Hi Lakshmi!

You write extremely well for one so young! I am a journalist and can spot a good writer. The manner of your writing is such that you could well put many journalists to shame. I'm serious.

I have a request — could you kindly consider changing the page layout?
The foremost thing in blogging is to have a user-friendly interface. Newspapers spend millions researching the hows and whys of readability. You'd attract more visitors with a slight change in the template.

I'd be delighted if you took the time out to visit my blog.

PS: I'm mighty impressed in my very first visit here, that I've decided to blogroll your site!
Also... I shall comment at length on this topic soon.

Anand Balaji said...

Excellent page layout... easy on the eyes!

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Thanks sir,
The thing is, it took me so much time to figure out how to work this "template" thing. I knew a little Html, only limited knowledge, but my brother helped me crack it. Thanks a lot for the advice!!

Vishwas Krishna said...

Very well written. My grandmother is a master in story telling. I eagerly listen to her retelling of Mahabharatha, Ramayana and other mythologies even now. Not only these, her retelling of any ordinary incident or situation is equally good with all the voice modulations and articulations. It comes very naturally to her. Same is true for her son, my father. But of late, I haven't see many who can tell stories in such an interesting way. Both my grandmother and father were voracious readers at one point of time. Perhaps, that could be the reason.