Not many would imagine that the chief of communications at Rourkela steel plant in Odisha, Ramendra Kumar, would take out time from his schedule to indulge in storytelling with kids.
Kumar, a father of two, says “I believe storytelling is a powerful mode of showcasing creativity. It enraptures the audience and teleports author and kids to a make-believe world.”
Kids, who gathered at the Chandigarh Children’s Literature Festival at Dikshant Global School in Zirakpur, broke out in uncontrollable laughter numerous times during the author’s act. Kumar also got the kids to dance to his not-so-very melodious vocals.
“Children are undoubtedly the best audience. They have a clear heart and they’re easy and honest.”
He broke into a song as easily as he adorned different voices for his storytelling act called ‘Paplu the Giant’. With his spontaneity he judges the vibe and alternates the act whenever he needs to.
“I have never had an experience where I didn’t get a positive vibe from kids,” he says. When asked if kids in metros were any different from the kids he interacted with in small towns, he agreed there was a huge difference in their attitudes.
“There definitely is a difference. In metro cities, there are always a few children in the crowd who look at you and wonder ‘What the big deal is?’ I feel they are slightly fast to judge maybe. In smaller towns, I have experienced an instant connect; it has been natural and uninhibited. They’re there to enjoy my act and they do so.”
He believes his children are his best critics and his greatest fans.
They listen to his ideas and stories and tell him what they think of them. And he prizes their opinion above all.
Kumar’s writings have been published in several Indian and foreign languages as well as in the Braille script. Six of his books have also been recommended by CBSE as supplementary readers.