In the queer town of Chalakudy, a perky and petite granny perches under the shade of an enormous banyan tree, expounding mythological tales to a mushrooming cluster of listeners.
Those puckish eyes, that haven’t aged, shimmer with vivid views of ancient episodes.
To the inhabitants of this southern Indian town, her engaging narrations are the doorway to a whole new world, when theirs seems prosaic.
Every story’s a wrinkle. Told from the folds of her heart.
Mythology is someone’s truth.
It might differ from yours.
You might dismiss it, accept it, cherish it or scramble over its specifics.
In any case, in every case, it’s fun, it’s entertaining, it’s invigorating because it gets you thinking.
About faith, about customs, about society, about divinity, about the ways of the world, about how we got here as a people, about how far we’ve come and about how far we have yet to go.
A step preceding history,
it’s also so limitless in its scope, its variations, its versions.
Everyone has their own.
Our Granny does too.
An avant-garde take on the ancient.
An interesting unearthing of rituals, folklore, tradition, legends and the beginning of it all – the determinants and components of any culture.
It’s the many stories that add up to a lot of the belief systems we hold today.
The many stories that are lessons on life, living, love, longing, loss, letting go, leaving and leaping when you have to. Learning from the experiences of the divine, imbibing them as mankind. Familiarizing ourselves with the established order of the universe – sometimes rattled, sometimes restored.
Storytelling is an incredible occasion for the old to be wise and for the young to recognize their folly.
May be even revel in the folly of the old who were once young and foolish.
It’s an exchange of energy, spirituality, wisdom – an attempt at transcendence.
Like all great storytellers, our Granny has a gift.
She could tell the same stories over and over again.
But when she tells them, her way, they are new, they are news, they renew us, they show us the world made new.
She’s usually silent. Silent till she wants to say something, and then says it supremely well.
Nobody wants you to SHOUT! all the time.
But there will be a time to break that silence in mind and mouth.
Not to destroy the peace but to build the world when you understand its foundations a little better.
And when it comes and when you do, do it supremely well.