'Kathe Kelona Banni' scripts a success story

Kalasuruchi's Suruchi Rangamane celebrates a decade of storytelling today

It is yet another milestone for ‘Kathe Kelona Banni’, a weekly storytelling programme of Suruchi Rangamane, as it celebrates its 10th anniversary with the 523rd programme on Saturday. It has already, in 2016, entered the Limca Book of Records for being the longest storytelling programme without a break. On February 4, writer and lyricist Jayanth Kaikini will narrate a story and interact with children. many eminent personalties, including scientists, doctors, engineers, academicians, musicians, actors, theatre persons, singers, writers, police officials, among others have conducted the sessions.

Convenor of Kathe Kelona Banni programme K Ramanath said, Kalasuruchi, the brainchild of theatre person Sindhuvalli Ananthamurthy was founded in 1985. “The cultural organisation has been catering to lovers of art, literature, theatre and music for the past 32 years. It organises Harikathe, classical music, plays and literary programmes, besides publishing books,” he said. Kalasuruchi’s ‘Suruchi Rangamane’ is a ‘Gruha Ranga’, a hundred-seat mini theatre, which hosts a variety of programmes including literary and music programmes, theatre workshops and also Kathe Kelona Banni.

Ramanath said, “We were privileged to grow up listening to stories narrated by our grandparents. Nowadays, most of the children grow away from grandparents due to various reasons. Even if children have the privilege of growing up with grandparents, both children and grandparents have their own distractions.”

‘Art is fading away’
“With the increased use of technology, everybody is in one’s own world of television, internet, smartphones, social media, among others. So, the art of both storytelling and listening is fading away,” he said. “Shashidhar Dongre, an engineer, who was active in Kalasuruchi programmes, came up with the concept of Kathe Kelona Banni and it was started on February 3, 2007, with the support of Vijaya Sindhuvalli and other members. The first programme was by theatre person and actor Bhargavi Narayan,” said another convenor K Nagaraj.

Stating that roping in story-tellers every week without a break is a challenge, Nagaraj said, people from all walks of life, irrespective of caste and religion have narrated stories. “Stories have been narrated from Ramayana, Mahabharata, Puranas, Panchatantra, Bible, Quran and other sources. Children from six to 14 years of age are welcome for the programmes, even though kids and their parents attend the sessions. All children are distributed some toffees after the programmes. Sometimes, when we get sponsors, we also distribute sweets and fruits,” he said.

Ramanath said, “Story-telling makes the learning process interesting. Children develop the art of listening, understanding and reasoning. Most of the sessions are interactive and children’s perspective is respected.”

90th Sahitya Chavadi
This weekend is also another milestone for Kalasuruchi, Kaikini is also participating in the 90th monthly literary programme ‘Sahitya Chavadi’ which is convened by Srimathi Hariprasad and Bhadrappa Shi Henly.

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