Having loved the experience and the enthusiasm at the first season of the Vizag Junior Literary Festival (VJLF), Deepa Kiran was back with more stories this year. Here’s her interaction with Jaya Siva Murty.
Deepa Kiran in a conversation with Yo! Vizag
About last year
“The first edition of the VJLF was very well organized, and everything was systematic. With all the groundwork done well, conducting sessions for the children was a joy”, shares Deepa Kiran, who is based in Hyderabad. Having told stories to the group of special children, she shares that it was an experience that has stayed with her. “In fact, I asked them to draw a scene from the story they had heard, and it was nice to see the images they came up with.” This year’s outreach session was held on October 24, and while rains played spoilsport, it didn’t dampen spirits for children at the Shanti ashram and Papa homes, and they had a good time.
Fluent in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali and Hindi, Deepa Kiran shares that the many things she has learnt through life have helped her in storytelling. “My ease with multiple languages were meant for storytelling perhaps”, she adds. Be it Bharatnatyam, or her experience as a writer, or a violinist, she shares, it has all taught her an openness to culture.
Power of storytelling
“Most assume storytelling is for children, which is only a small part of what I do.” The power of storytelling, however, goes beyond this she elaborates. Having conducted sessions for children, college-level students, and even district judges, she shares that it involves sensing the audience and seeing their perspective. The message and how its being conveyed are both critical, Deepa Kiran adds. Her sessions have thus touched diverse topics right from writing workshops to talks on violence in schools and colleges.
Future dreams, not plans
Describing herself as a person who does not plan, she finds that life still life pans out interestingly. However, she does have many dreams, and the Story Arts Foundation, which she started three years ago, is at the crux of it. With the intention of reaching out with stories to those who do not have access, to date she has reached out to government institutions and trained over 1800 teachers. Through residential camps, she states that not only have students benefitted, but teachers and volunteers have learnt too.
As Deepa Kiran looks forward to being back for the Literary fest in the second week of November, she hopes to reach out to more people and enrich lives through the medium of storytelling