Delhi, India, 13th February 2024 . The vibrant city of Delhi witnessed the grand spectacle of Kathaalok, The Great Indian Storytelling Festival, which was organized on February 10th and 11th at Palika Park, Connaught Place, New Delhi. The event was supported by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Government of India. The literary festival saw the participation of more than 200 kathakaars (storytellers) from all across the country who illuminated the splendor of Indian cultural and literary heritage through their mesmerizing recitals.
The 2-day event was graced by guests – Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, Union Minister of State for External Affairs & Culture, Telugu Actor and director Aditya Om, Author & ex MP Balbir Punj, Rajya Sabha MP Sudhanshu Trivedi, and author of political thrillers “Janta Store” and “Dhai Chaal” Naveen Chaudhary, Anil Pandey, Director, India for Children, Theatre Director Avtar Sawhney, President awardee in the field of theatre.
This initiative is an effort to create a community of storytellers to come together and tell stories that connect the past full of wisdom and learning to now and challenges and celebrations of now to a future with content that provokes emotions, thoughts and introspection and contributes to the rich world of literature and art, said Sumit Maluja, Co-organizer, Kathaalok.
With solo and group storytelling formats, participants had the opportunity to showcase their creativity and talent. From poignant love stories to gripping mysteries, from uproarious comedies to ancient Indian lore, the festival embraced a diverse range of genres, ensuring there was something for everyone. Participants recited the enchanting narratives from the rich tapestry of Indian literature.
There were professional performances during two days, Dastan e Ram by Fauzia, Dasta E Tilism by Danish Hussain, Qissa Heer by Manu Sikander Dhingra, Story of Music from vedic times, A musical performance designed and structured by Abhay Sopori. From magical tales to epic romances, their performances transported spectators to different realms of imagination.
The jury panel members included the famous academician and storyteller Malvika Joshi, well known Playwrite JP Singh, Young Theatre actor and director Amit Tiwari, Documentary film maker and photographer Shivani Pandey, Poet & writing coach Ashtam Neelkanth, social media influencer and author Ambika Bhardwaj.
The grand prize winners of Kathaalok: The Great Indian Storytelling Festival were – 1st, Abhinav Kumar Jha from Hindu College, 2nd Pulkit Garg from Delhi Technical University and 3rd Sheetal from Delhi University.
“Kathaalok is a platform to rekindle the love for Indian stories in the youth and bring to light hidden gems of Indian literature and wisdom. It is our attempt to keep the tradition of storytelling and stories of our ancestors alive”, said Justice (Retd.) S.N. Dhingra, President, Samay Yaan and Sashakt Samaj.