Traditional Tamil storytellers

Stories of Mahatma Gandhi and the Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar in a traditional storytelling art form "Villupattu" were narrated here at Kathakar- the International Storytellers Festival.

'Villupattu' is an ancient story telling art form of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in which stories are narrated using a unique musical instrument, a bow placed on a mud pot. The lead singer beats the pot while singing and co-singers play active listeners uttering appropriate oral responses to the song in between.

"The stories of Raja Harishchandra, Mahatma Gandhi, Clean India were some of the stories which we had presented here", team leader of of the trope Vettarayan said.

One of the stories was about Mahatma Gandhi, who started to speak only the truth after seeing a drama of Raja Harishchandra during childhood days.

"As we all know Gandhi's ambition of making a clean India is far from reality till now, through our stories, we aim the younger generation to get the idea of a clean an proper India", Vettarayan told PTI.

He also presented stories on various issues like open defecation, cleaning the rivers of India and climate change.

Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar had a unique style of writing poems. He did not use the word "Tamil" in any of his poems. In his poems he envisaged the idea of one god.

"In his 13,330 couplets and 14,0000 words used by him (Thiruvalluvar), there is no word as Tamil in these, he has not mentioned name of any god and gave an idea of one god for all," he said.

"The stories of Thiruvalluvar has got the ability to make people think about various issues in India which has varied traditions and customs based on beliefs, language etc", Vettarayan said.

Vettavarayan's cultural troupe from Tindivanam in Tamil Nadu has seven artists. A teacher by profession he entered into this field of story telling as his family was involved in Villupattu. For the last 40 years he has been performing Villupattu in different parts of the country.

The second edition of the International Storytellers Festival has been organised by Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts and Nivesh India.