Talaash! Which part of Mumbai do you want to see?

SAHAR Airport Road

Chalo Mumbai. It's time to kick-ass with Professor "Cool" Coomie

MU's English Department is kick-starting Mumbai's first International Storytelling Festival (7th and 13th October, 2011. Across Mumbai). The party has already begun!

Of all the things we have built in this city, it's the power of our dreams and the ability to make it into a story that is ours and our city's biggest asset.

Our city of dreams has no walls. We live in a room with surrounded by a big, wide window and we live lives the world sees all the time. To repeat it in the language of Mumbai, stories of Mumbai form the foundation of multi-crore businesses that touch the lives of people around the world. From the stories we churn out on the silver screen to the speech given at corporate AGMs in the city. It's the dreams of the Mayanagari that make us who we are.

Across the city, there's a trend where storytellers are getting together people, especially youngsters and entertaining them with stories. The idea is to make children understand the world around them beyond the many flickering screens that surround them all day long. Example: The Theater Groups, Amol Gupte, Mayur Puri's Story circus, etc. to name a random few.

However, the time is now ripe to take this grassroot movement on to a larger stage. And who can be better than the University of Mumbai to bring together the scattered story tellers on to one stage?

International Storytelling Conference, Festival and Workshop
Magic of the Word

This story telling initiative is spearheaded by a group from the MU English Department led by Prof. Coomie Shahrukh Vevaina. They are brought together a selection of unique storytellers from around the world, India and from Mumbai. They will all use story telling for ecological conservation and inter-racial understanding between 7th and 13th October, 2011.

Together, they have put together an interesting ensemble of story tellers from all over the globe.

Let's begin at home. From Mumbai, children from 12 schools (English, Marathi and Hindi medium) will also be participating. They will tell stories, debate, conduct workshops, etc. in their own unique way.

Also from Mumbai and at this festival are Anupam Kher, Amol Gupte, Naseeruddin Shah, Dolly Thakore, Francin Pinto, Dr Margaret Theophil, Amish Tripati, Deepak Dalal, etc.

There are Wada Adivasi Storytellers from our state. From around India, there's Simi Srivastava and Dastangoes Danish and Mahmood from Delhi. Rachel Macbean and Group from Kolkata.

Dave Arthur from UK, an aborginal story teller from Australia, Ronald Larocque from Canada, Hazuki and David from Japan, Abeer Sulaiman from Egypt, Carmen and Lorenzo from Spain and many more.

And finally, for those interested in learning how to tell stories, Laura Simms from USA will conduct a workshop on the Art of Storytelling from 10th to 13th of October at Wilson College.

And if you do attend this festival, I have a feeling that you can expect the unexpected because, these pictures were actually taken at a press conference.

In the photo above, the organisers are praying together to make the event a grand success and that's Prof. Coomie dancing away to glory to a Kathrina Kaif item number at a party that was being held in the hall next to where the press conference was held.

After all this is Mumbai. Anything can happen. And whatever happens, it will be a great story to tell.

Watch the newspapers for more information. Or you can contact Prof Coomie at csvevaina@gmail.com or call 9820170157

Photo Books by Mumbai Paused

Digital photo books with stories from the streets of Mumbai are now available at Footpath Bookshop

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