How this Ratlam’s ‘story didi’ has made a profession out of narrating tales

Ratlam’s only professional storyteller has carved a niche for herself and believes storytelling can be a means of livelihood.

Ratlam: Meet Ratlam’s only professional storyteller, Vividha Vyas. She tells stories all over the country. Henceforth, she has been nicknamed ‘Story Didi’. Now, she is also telling stories on international forums. Recently, hockey world cup was held in Bhubaneswar. Odisha tourism department had organised a unique story mahotsav (festival).Vyas also participated in the competition. She charmed the audience when by narrating Mullah Nasruddin’s story in her special style.

The 23-year-old story wizard got the chance to give presentation on storytelling during the world humanities conference organised by UNESCO in Visakhapatnam, wherein representatives of over 70 countries took part. Here she tells why she chose this genre and what its future is.

Excerpts from the interview:

Can storytelling become a means of livelihood?

Yes, it is a profession. Many people in India and abroad are choosing it as profession. Big schools, corporate sector appoint full-time storytellers. I have also worked as storyteller in Ratlam’s St. Joseph Convent School.

There are many other means for stress management. Then why choose storytelling?

Stories are our culture. They are the legacy of our ancestors. Many epics and biographies are stories.

From where do you select your stories?

I select the subject of my stories from religious epics, history, folk tales etc. Panchatantra’s stories, books and magazines like Champak, Google, Internet are my companions.

A re those sharing stories through social media your rival?

No, because we can change presentation according to the mood and response of the audience. It is not possible in the recordings of You-Tube and social media.