The Story of Stories

We look at a story, as a stranger does, after arriving at a new city; with curiosity and awe or instant dislike. It takes some time to absorb the essence of a new destination where the story originates from. An introvert’s narrative is mysterious and disguised in metaphorical embellishments.

It is not the language barrier, but the inability to connect with the sentiment, history, and pace of life being passionately woven around the story. You take time to connect with the storyteller’s psychology, of which you know very little (apart from the name); it is not enough to determine the true nature of a story and identify with the characters immediately.

How you communicate with unknown people when you arrive at a new place, also draws a pattern across the pages of your travel (here, I am talking about the journey of identifying with a story) and how elaborately you plan the itinerary. A story has a labyrinthine journey, while the characters inhabit a unique world; they come closer as the story progresses (the storyteller’s prerogative to imagine a parallel world to reflect on society with much more freedom) and builds relationships with that reality.

The reflections off the reality are disguised in creative ink to provide an engaging atmosphere where dialogues are free from coercion, but they highlight the truth, lies, doubts, fear, jealousy, love, and other subconscious emotions with much more clarity. It is unfortunate, that the real world is less permissive and more dismissive.

Metaphors and creative liberty of storytelling allow the story to elaborate the frustrations and triumphs with alacrity. The ability to view the two ends of the spectrum with clarity, from a favourable point. Stories narrate heroism and cowardice; the false narratives of a fragile ego, human judgemental errors, and haughty denials are explicitly spoken about.

The culture of the unknown destination unravels as the plot starts blooming with all the essential clues from a storytelling point of view. A traveller visiting a new city also experiences a new type of storytelling; narrated by the city itself. The city speaks too, of its daily experiences, the places of interest, places to avoid, and stories are so intricately woven across human desires and failures.

There is a paucity of time, or so, one is supposed to believe, after persistent prodding by the emerging culture that believes in being in a terrible hurry. There is no time for listening to stories and giving lending a patient ear. Probably, the failure of stories is the mainstream story itself. It is the story of indifference, challenges, the subjugation of desires, and relinquished dreams. The ability to be idle, to feel and empathise is considered a violation of a code of conduct of an erroneously busy world.

True stories are unheard, criticised, characters vilified, and the storyteller pushed towards self-incarceration after repeated criticisms and outright rejections. So many stories die after being birthed laboriously. It is not the lack of creativity, but the inability to identify the creative spark and metaphors.

~Amitav

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