Tag Archives: Storytelling


By Joybrato Dutta


As kids we always faced that one question which was asked by relatives, neighbours, dad’s friends, mom’s friends, teachers, even fellow kids. “What do you want to become when you grow up”. None of my classmates said they wanted to become an engineer. Today 80% of my classmates are engineers.

So what went wrong? What changed?

Why did people stop believing in their dreams? As we grew up, why did we start compromising on everything we wanted as a child? Is that what people call maturity? How different is maturity from pretence?

Since childhood we have been trained to lie, to act pretentious. Virtues like etiquettes and formalities were forced on us which sealed our true feelings inside.

We have been trained to smile and say “I am fine” each time anyone asks “How are you”.

We have been trained to say “cheese” each time someone clicks us.

We have been trained to say “thank you” whenever someone gifts us something.

Today these things might look small because the blanket of etiquette is quite huge. But think carefully, wasn’t that the start of us accepting pretention. Didn’t we love being appreciated? Didn’t it increase our hunger to be loved even more?

Today I have decided to denounce pretention.

Today I have decided to figure out who I really am, and what I always wanted to become.

I know I love singing. But I love being appreciated for it.

I know I love dancing. But I love it even more when someone else praises me.

I know I love playing cricket. But I enjoy the importance I get after I hit a good knock.

So what is it that I really want to do? Something which will give me so much satisfaction that I won’t care what others think.

A psychiatrist friend offered her help. She said she can give me a tour of my own subconscious. “Our subconscious”, she said “is like a hard disk which stores some really important data. People, moments, stories that we don’t even remember exists”. I warmed up to the idea and gave in to hypnosis.

My journey to the depth of my own heart began.

Go deep she said

I saw myself dancing at a club with a beautiful lady in my arms. She was impressed. I could tell from her eyes. The way I moved her, manoeuvred her arms, guided her feet, she was in awe. Nothing boosts a man’s ego than a girl stupefied. That day I knew I wanted to dance all my life.

Go deep she said

I saw myself playing in the finals of the Inter College Tournament. It was the last over. I had to hit a boundary. The next ball I did. My college won the finals and I won every heart. I had never heard so many people chant my name. For a day I was a celebrity. I knew I wanted to play cricket all my life.

Go deep she said.

I saw myself winning the Annual Elocution Contest. I was in class six, and I had already defeated a few tenth standard students. My teachers were proud. My principal praised me in front of the entire school. I heard my dad scream and say “That’s my boy”. I had never seed my dad so happy. He was as happy as I was when I got my first GI Joe set. I wanted to keep him that happy all my life.

Go deep she said.

I saw my grandmother telling me a story. The way she narrated me the characters. The way she set apart the good guys from the bad, wow, I was amazed. How can these characters who I don’t even know, find such an important place in my heart? The protagonist who wasn’t even real, who never faced the hardships we mortals face, how can he solve every problem of mine? How does he know what I am thinking? They my granny said that it’s the power of a pen. An author’s weapon, his pride. A storyteller can pierce the hearts of his readers without even meeting them. A storyteller can ignite desires and tame passions. A storyteller can reveal your darkest secrets. A storyteller can create magic. A storyteller is what I wanted to become. At that moment I was sure I wanted to write stories all my life.

Go deep she said.

I opened my eyes. I couldn’t have delved further. I had hit my core. How could I have forgotten? Now I know why I still enjoy stories. Why each time when I write even a small story, it gives me the satisfaction no award can. Somewhere in this 28 year old that 5 year old kid still lives. And somehow time hadn’t changed what I really loved. I love stories. And I can write them for the rest of my life.

While I was walking home from my friend’s place I realised that the curse of shallowness can go really deep. However, if we choose to go deep, more things will surface.