Upcoming writers and noted actors will read out a mix of original and famous works, while musicians narrate folk tales, at a literary event this weekend.
Last year, a coffee-table conversation between a few friends about their recently written stories and poetry turned into the impetus for a storytelling platform. Kahanikar was launched as a result, with the intent of encouraging people to share their short stories and poems.
After an open mic in August 2016, Kahanikar will now host its second edition, this weekend, at the Title Waves bookstore in Bandra. This time, apart from an open mic, guest speakers — actors Tom Alter, Nadira Babbar, Makarand Deshpande, Seema Pahwa and poet Obaid Azam Azmi — will participate. Alter will read out excerpts from his books, Deshpande and Pahwa will narrate original short stories, while Babbar and Azmi will perform original poetry.
Deshpande says, “Stories which are not necessarily published can breathe if we share them.” As for his interest in short stories, he says, “In 1990, we would put up short plays outside Prithvi Theatre [Juhu]. Sometimes when the stage wouldn’t be ready, we would laugh and narrate a story to save face.”
The platform also encourages closet writers to take to the stage. Pahwa says, “I’ve been writing short stories for 20 years, and I have just finished writing a film as well. This gives me the opportunity to read out what would otherwise be hidden in my diary.”
Apart from original writing, some famous works will be read out too. For instance, Pahwa will narrate a story by Urdu writer Ismat Chughtai.
The previous Kahanikar event saw Bharatanatyam dancers from Tanjavur Nritya Shala (a city-based dance institute) perform as a flash mob. This time, an element of music will be added. “There will be recitations of famous tales such as Heer [Ranjha] and Gauhar Jaan in musical form, and works of legends like Bulleh Shah and Faiz Ahmed Faiz in the form of ghazals,” says Shweta Nadkarni, co-founder, Kahanikar. Singers Pranita Nair Pandurangi and Trisha Kale will be accompanied by instrumentalists.
At Kahanikar, there is no language barrier. The songs, too, will be performed in Urdu, Marathi, Punjabi and English.
What: Kahanikar- Celebrating Poetry & Storytelling will take place on January 8, 4pm onward
Where: Title Waves, 24th Road, off Turner Road, Bandra (W)