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Indian Storytelling Network

 

Mumbai

 


Storytellers (and other Story Experts)
(in alphabetical order)

1) Aarti Kute.

2) Lopamudra Mohanty.

3) Neeraj.

4) Neha.

5) Nidhi Bagaria.
6) Nilum Jajodia.

7) Preeti Bapat.

8) Rinti Sengupta.

9) Samvedna Amitabh.

10) Smita Rajan.
11) Usha Venkatraman.

Ongoing Storytelling Activities in Mumbai.

 

 

 

1

Aarti Ashwin Kute.

Aarti Ashwin Kute is the founder-director of the "Masti Ka Pitara" club, which provides fun-filled science-related story sessions.  She is passionate about telling stories to young people, and also about coaching them to tell stories.  She was drawn towards storytelling while telling stories to her own child.  She has studied storytelling with Ms.Yogita Ahuja, founder of Storycircle Edusaarthi.

 

Aarti believes that science principles and concepts can be made fun to understand and learn through stories.  She uses stories to explain concepts like how rainbows are formed, and the life-cycles of butterflies, frogs, and plants.  She introduces stories to present concepts such as Reuse and Recycle, and Pollution and Its Causes.  Sometimes she uses already-existing stories, and sometimes she develops her own stories.

 

Aarti has earned Post Graduate degrees in Microbiology, and in Marketing Management.  She has more than 15 years of work experience in the Insurance Industry (Medical Underwriting, etc).

 

Aarti truly feels that the blend of her educational and professional backgrounds, and her storytelling skills, can help young people to understand complicated concepts easily.

 

Aarti is associated with Navi Mumbai Kendra (Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Children's club), and Balvikas (a Shri Satya Sai Organization).  She conducts various kinds of Storytelling, and Storytelling-related, Workshops, such as: Making and Telling Stories with Finger Puppets; Warli Art; 20 National Symbols; Diwali Mela; and Writing and Performing Dramas.

 

A photo is here.

 

Contact info

 

Mrs. Aarti Ashwin Kute

Founder-director, "Masti Ka Pitara" club.

Based in Vashi, Navi Mumbai.

 

Mobile:

96199 34493

 

Email:

aartikute12@gmail.com

 

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100086130224027

 

 

 

2

Lopamudra Mohanty.

Lopamudra is the Founder of Big Buddy World.

     She has studied Rural Management at Xavier’s Institute of Management, has studied Storytelling at Kathalaya (Bangalore), and is a certified Phonics trainer.  She is presently the Academic Support Consultant for Trinity College, London (India Office); and is on the Board of Advisors of the Bookwallah Organization.  She is an ex-banker, and has been a teacher in the Delhi Public School Group.

     Lopamudra has developed a Reading Program for children (3 to 7 years old) which integrates Storytelling with literacy skills.  This Program has been highly appreciated by parents and is quite effective in developing childrens' reading proficiencies. 

     She is a theatre professional, an Odissi dancer, and a marathon runner.  She is an author of a children’s book on Phonic sounds, AEIOU Sounds.  She loves working with children.

     Lopamudra conducts Story sessions for children in schools, and conducts Storytelling workshops for teachers and parents.  She also conducts Story sessions at literary events.  She creates spaces for Personal Storytelling.

     She also has been acting in theatre pieces written and directed by Zubin Driver.  She is the core member of Mumbai Storytellers Society.

Contact info

73033 03000

lopzhi5@gmail.com

LinkedIn page

 

 

3

Neeraj, also known as Archarya Neeraj.

The “acharya” comes from the root “char” or “charya” (conduct).  For him it factually connotes “one who teaches by conduct “, i.e. an exemplar

     Neeraj is a motivational speaker, Physical theater practitioner, storyteller, Butoh Dancer, different Yogic & Meditative, Martial Arts Techniques Practitioner.

     He studies and applies philosophical and spiritual traditions that reflect the dynamism in learning and in human spiritual values.  For him, teaching is learning again and again…again and again…  An award-winning facilitator, Neeraj uses the timeless techniques of mentoring, collaboration, and performance.  Neeraj is a healer, meditation guide, and Facilitator of Narrative Therapy through Transformative Storytelling.  He started learning different techniques of Self-Healing at a very young age, and has constantly applied these techniques to himself.  Over the years he has become a deeply intuitive healer and teacher.

     Neeraj has been studying spiritual and yogic techniques since 1996.  During more than 20 years of learning, relearning, unlearning, sharing and teaching through Storytelling, he has mastered many alternative healing techniques which are based on the age-old Indian discipline of Ayurveda, Yoga, Meditation, and Pranayama.  It has been his conscious quest to work on Yogic Techniques, Subtle Yoga, Shinrin-yoku (“forest bathing”) Meditation, Tai Chi, Naturopathy, Zen, Butoh, Akido, Expressive Art, Story Therapy, DOGa Yoga, and Metaphysics of the Mind, Body, and Soul that teach ways to manage and alleviate phobias and psychosomatic illnesses in natural ways.  He helps people understand subtle and essential aspects of the mind, body, and spirit connection. Neeraj is the author of the meditative manual “Sapere Aude (Dare to BE Wise)”.  He has been featured in various publications such as BBC-Hindi, Zee TV, Elle, The Hindustan Times, DNA, Times of India, Indian Express, and News Nation.    

     Neeraj often works in the following cities (in alphabetical order): Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Jaipur, Kanpur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Meerut, Mumbai, New Delhi, Noida, Pune, and Surat.

Contact info  

98201 71766

delotusin@gmail.com

http://www.delotus.in

DElotus on Youtube

 

 

4

Neha (née Nidhi Awasthi).

Neha is the spirit behind DElotus Advaya Holistic Health Solutions Pvt. Ltd.  She spearheads the management and operations functions of DElotus. Neha holds a Master’s degree in management and brings on board extensive corporate experience in Brand-Driven Storytelling.  She is a passionate and successful conceptualist, strategist, and implementer. 

     Neha is also a Trained & Experienced Voice over artist, Face Yoga, Face Pilates, Tai Chi & Voicing Practitioner.  She has facilitated, Lead and performed at Retreats, workshops, conferences, and courses all around India.  In addition, she is a well-received music curator, Tisane Master, specialist in the new dance movement for Physical Storytelling, Emotional Freedom Technique and Meditational Dance Technique. She is a healer and a thought-leader.  She is an exponent and expert in Tai Chi and sword Tai Chi, and conducts workshops in various forms of dance and music.  She has a beautiful singing voice and just completed Taittiriya Aranyaka, Parad Samhita, and its hymns so recitation of different mantras comes naturally to her for deepening yogic practices such as Tai Chi, Nada Yoga, and Yoga Mudra.  DElotus (Flowering of Innate Human Potential) is a cross-cultural platform for seekers.  DElotus offers avant-garde Expressive Art Workshops, Creative Courses, Mixed Martial Arts Training, Yogic Therapy Sessions, Spiritual and Experiential Road-trips and Expeditions, and more.

     DElotus provides participants with opportunities to share stories.  Story-gathering and sharing are therapeutic activities for all involved.  DElotus' mission includes inspiring young people to discover the power of their own voices and the Voices of the Voiceless.

Contact info

98200 38390

edu@delotus.in

http://www.delotus.in

DElotus on Youtube

 

 

5

Nidhi Bagaria.

Nidhi is a Storyteller and and Early Childhood Educator.  She has founded The Creative World, a storytelling and drama program for children. 

     Nidhi has been in the field of education for over fifteen years.  She has observed first-hand the benefits of stories on children.  She believes stories are a universal way to connect and can be told anywhere.  They help cross barriers of culture and language.  In the day and age of technology, storytelling helps bring a personal touch to communication with one's audience members.

     Nidhi has been conducting workshops with leading bookstores in Mumbai for over a decade.  She works with various NGOs, using stories to enhance language development and better expression of ideas.  She has participated in community events like "Happy Streets", in which she narrated stories on the streets of Mumbai.  She has performed and conducted workshops in festivals such as the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival (Mumbai), and the Lulu Readers Fest (Kochi, Kerala).

     Nidhi is passionate about storytelling.  She enjoys working with children, but believes stories can have a positive impact with both children and adults.  Her style is interactive with props, songs, and movement.  She uses a combination of stories and art-and-craft in her workshops, in which she narrates all types of stories, including myths and folktales (such as animal fables and fairytales) -- and coaches workshop participants to do the same. 

     Nidhi conducts storytelling workshops for children and is also a teacher-trainer -- she has conducted workshops for teachers in various schools as well as balwadis.  She is based in Mumbai and works all over India.

Contact info

98922 19417

Email: bagarianidhi@hotmail.com

Facebook: https://tinyurl.com/the-creative-world



6
Nilum Jajodia.
Nilum is an Early Childhood Educator and a trained Storyteller (Storytelling Diploma holder from The Academy of Storytelling – Kathalaya, Bangalore).  She tells stories to child and adult groups, including special groups like mentally-challenged adults.  She performs in schools and book stores, and for NGOs and other organisations.  She also conducts Storytelling Workshops with these groups.  Nilum keeps her audiences enraptured through the use of voice modulation and body language.  Besides this, she connects well with her audiences through the use of games and interactive stories.  She views storytelling as a means of teaching life skills; and of helping people to improve their thinking and speaking-and-listening skills, and language and communication skills in general.  She enjoys telling inspirational stories, as well as folk tales, legends and mythological stories from India and around the world, and is always looking for new ways of telling so as to keep audience interest.

       Nilum leads a Kathalaya Story Space in Mumbai.
Contact info

80979 58410
nilumj@gmail.com

Storyspace is a Kathalaya undertaking around the world.

 

 

7

Preeti Bapat.

Preeti earned a Masters in "Human Resources", and a Diploma in "Training and Development" from the Indian Society of Training and Development, New Delhi.  She worked for some years in the Corporate World.  However, she had little interest in routinely spending hours facilitating regular training programs and maintaining training records, neck-deep in excel spreadsheets almost every day.

     Even with this monotone schedule, the creative juices would automatically flow if she was challenged to develop activities around training workshops or writing small instant caselets. 

     Gradually, the quest for learning nuances of Storytelling grew multifold, as Preeti began to realise that for any successful training or learning experience, a storyboard and the keyword “CONNECT” is pivotal.

     She learned about Kathalaya, and enrolled for the beginner’s course in 2015.  The world of stories was a perfect environment for her, and this was the start of a new beginning in Preeti's professional life.

     Currently, Preeti is continuing her Storytelling training with Kathalaya, and leads a Kathalaya Storyspace in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai.  She cherishes creating new stories and tweaking existing ones.  Preeti's first published article, “The Gift of Storytelling” (6mb, pdf), appeared in the Nov 2017 issue of Life Positive magazine.  She feels immense pleasure in calling her profession as "Storyteller" and is evolving more with it each day!

     Storytelling-related Services:

 

A) Storytelling Workshops for Children (3-14 years).

1) Group 1 (3 - 6.5 years): Stories with Art and Craft.

2) Group 2 (6.5 - 8 years): Stories with Art and Craft; and Story prompts to invoke thoughts and help the children create their own stories (using story cards)

3) Group 3 (8.5 - 14 years): Stories with Art and Craft; and Writing prompts for creative writing (one liner and story cubes).  Also showing ways Mind Maps and memory techniques can be used for easy recall (for academic study).

 

B) Workshops for Pre-school Teachers:

Basics of Storytelling: 6 hour workshop.

- Selecting stories.

- Establishing connect with the pre-schoolers.

 

Contact info

98190 88071

storyspace_kharghar@yahoo.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/kharghar.preeti

Storyspace is a Kathalaya undertaking around the world.

 

 

8

Rinti Sengupta.

Rinti is a graphic artist by profession.  She later found her passion in storytelling amongst her ideal audience, children.  She is a certified Puppeteer from Kalsootri, and a Storyteller trained by Small Tales.  She has also been trained in Phonics by TESOL and has earned a diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education.  She has been teaching pre-primary and primary classes for over 12 years, and has been a content developer for lesson plans and syllabuses.

     In her own unique style, Rinti narrates stories using guitar, ukulele, djembe, and numerous other musical instruments. She is passionate about creating her own puppets and muppets, which she uses extensively in her storytelling sessions.  She loves to  narrate the tales of Ramayana, using traditional shadow puppets made from leather.

     Rinti conducts storytelling sessions with related activities, and puppet-making workshops, in schools, clubs, NGO’s and at her own space known as Hands'n'stories.  She also conducts customized teacher-training workshops for pre-primary and primary teachers.

A photo of Rinti with puppets and children is here.

Contact info

99207 80618

rinti_c@yahoo.com

Facebook page.

Instagram page.

 

 

9

Samvedna Amitabh.

Samvedna is the founder of Kahaanipur, which offers storytelling performances and training.  She is a storyteller; a writer of poetry, short stories, and drama; a journalist; and a trainer in all of these fields. She has worked as a journalist for some of India's leading Hindi and English newspapers, and for a Hindi television channel.  In 2007, she published a book of poems, Ladkiyaan jo pul hoti hain, which received the "Vaageeshwari Samman" award from the Madhya Pradesh government.  At present, she is writing a story for teenagers.  The story is designed to help the teenagers handle their years of adolescence.  She is also writing lyrics for a nomadic play in Hindi.  This play is scheduled to be staged soon in Ahmedabad and elsewhere.

     Samvedna has done storytelling for preschoolers, for children at activity centres, for families, and for seniors at old-age homes.  With an NGO in Mumbai, she tells stories to underprivileged children, and writes scripts for the children's performances.

     It was while swimming in the middle waters of her life that she discovered storytelling, as a serious professional activity.  A performer in her had always been an undercurrent of her personality.  Storytelling helped her to vent out all that had been lying latent for long.

     Samvedna does storytelling mainly in Hindi and Urdu, and also interacts with audience members in English.  In her storytelling work, she seeks to address some of the most sensitive issues in the contemporary urban world.  Her work is dedicated to promoting gender and social equality, to respecting the creative process in people, and finally to helping to facilitate communal harmony and world peace.

     Creativity, improvisation, and innovation are trademarks of Samvedna's storytelling style.  She does storytelling with music as well.  Her years of work as a journalist contribute to her analytical way of thinking and leading interactive discussions after stories are told.  She offers storytelling performances and training for all age-groups, from toddlers to seniors.  She is happy to customize workshops.

Contact info

98201 24082

samvednaramitabh@gmail.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/kahaanipur

 

 

10

Smita Rajan.

Smita is a Storyteller, Dance Artist and Educator, and Personal Counsellor utilising methods of Storytelling and Dance Movement Therapy.   

     An artist at heart, Smita's creative zeal is her strength.  With over 10 years of experience in practicing, teaching, and choreographing Bharathanatyam, and a Masters in Dance, Smita sees Dance as a way of enhanced living.  In 2018, she founded Parampara Creative Dance and Movement, a creative hub for Expressive Arts, Classical Dance, Creative Movement, and Storytelling, for learners across all age groups.

     Smita has also co-founded The Katha Club, a story club that facilitates open, safe, and neutral spaces to explore, engage, and express.  Smita conducts Storytelling sessions for: 1) Children 5 years and above, 2) Teenagers, and 3) Young Adults.

     Parampara Creative Dance and Movement has been awarded best narrative by the Global Cleanup Heroes in the Global Environment Summit.

     As a dancer Smita uses stories to create mini-dramas and plays on varied topics of relevance.

     Smita is a personal counsellor using Storytelling and Dance Movement Therapy methods in her work, especially with trauma survivors, and people experiencing neurosis and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

     Smita enjoys working on:

• Body conditioning, flexibility, toning, balance, self-awareness, shaping, confidence building, and gait.

• Creating educational modules using Dance and Movement.

• Muscle memory and its applications.

• Performance based narration of stories.

• "Dance: A Language," a community program initiated by Smita that focuses on mindful dancing and healing processes through dance.

     Education

* Masters in Applied Psychology, Annamalai University (Expected to complete in 2022).

* Masters in Fine Arts, Bharathanatyam, 2015, Bharathidasan University, Trichy.

* Masters of Business Administration, 2010, Symbiosis SCDL, Pune, Masters in Communication

* Bachelors of Business Administration, 2008, Madras Christian College, Madras University, Chennai.

     Certifications

* Certified Personal Counsellor, 2020, Institute of Human Technology.

* Certified Professional Storyteller, 2020, World Story Institute.

* PG Certified Dance and Movement Therapist, 2019, Kinections, Rochester, NY and Sancheti Healthcare Academy

* PG Certified Special Educator (LD, ADHD, and Autism),

2018, Asian College of Teachers and Institute of Cambridge

* Certified in Indian Sign Language (ISL), 2018, Talking Hands.

Contact info

99580 95989

smita1752@gmail.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/smitarajan29

https://www.instagram.com/smitarajan29



11
Usha Venkatraman.

Usha is a Mumbai-based storyteller who believes in the power of stories and keeps the ancient art of oral tradition alive with stories that transform and inspire.


A versatile teller with a wide repertoire of folk, traditional, literary and beguiling mythical tales, Usha adapts her craft to suit young and older audiences, sometimes using other arts, like puppetry, dance and music. Her songs and tales enchant little ones, while her family sagas of myths, legends and folktales captivate older children, teens and adults.

 

Usha has been storytelling at national and international festivals, events and conferences in India, Singapore,Thailand, Iran, Sydney, Malaysia and the United States.

 

She has taught storytelling courses and has presented a variety of workshops to adults, children and families. She has been a speaker on storytelling and is active in the international storytelling community.

 

Usha continues to be fascinated by the world of stories -- ancient lore both written and told. She loves to bring different voices together, weaving threads of untold stories of women heroes stitching together forgotten fairytales, fragments of myth, songs and music.

 

Usha has directed and performed in storytelling ensemble shows for the past several years and during the past two years took her shows virtually to San Francisco, Bangkok, Malaysia, Florida and Purdue, Indiana.

 

Award-winning storyteller, author, classical vocalist, puppeteer and radio show host, Usha Venkatraman is the founder and festival director of Mumbai Storytellers Society, an initiative born out of her zeal to keep the storytelling tradition alive. Usha curated the first Science Storytelling Festival SCIFARI in 2019 in Mumbai India.

 

Usha hosts Storytellers Café, a weekly radio show on Bharat FM, a Cincinnati based radio station. Usha has authored a children’s picture book on animal advocacy, which was written after her year long work with an animal activist organisation in the 90’s.

 

Usha has performed across India and around the globe.

 

A photo is here.

 

Contact info
Usha Venkatraman

Founder: Mumbai Storytellers Society

Founder: Scifari - Exploring Science Through Stories

Festival Director:   Gaatha - Mumbai International Storytelling Festival. 

Host: Storytellers Cafe on Bharat FM Radio

Mobile: 98201 79303
Email:
usha.venkatraman.stories@gmail.com

https://www.ushavenkatraman.com



 

______________________________________

 

 

 

 

Ongoing Storytelling Activities in Mumbai --

 

 

***

 

Kathalaya (directed by Geeta Ramanujam) is developing three Story Spaces in Mumbai:

 

1) Mid-Mumbai.

Contact: Nilum Jajodia. 

 

2) Katha Kutir, Mulund, Mumbai.

Contact: Anupama Mohan, anupamashastry@gmail.com , 98207 90382.

 

3) Kathamrut, Mumbai.

Contact: Asmita Sarwade, asarwade@gmail.com

 

For info about the Story Space project in general, please click here and call 080 2668 9856.