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Embarking on My Journey: Where It All Began

In an era predating the internet, with television still a novelty, I cherish vivid memories of evenings spent in our quaint living room. Nestled on a "pai," a modest mat on the floor, under the soft glow of a solitary lamp, surrounded by the nocturnal chorus of frogs and dragonflies, my grandmother, or "achumma," transformed into a sorceress of tales. Her animated storytelling, so vivid and enthralling, made it easy to mistake her fables for personal recollections rather than the intricate fictions they were.

In my young mind, her stories unfurled worlds where gods and demons clashed in epic battles, with Devas and Asuras charging across celestial battlefields in gleaming chariots. Yet, achumma also taught me the beauty of simplicity in storytelling. Not all tales needed to revel in grandeur; some drew their charm from the rustic life of villages, where a hero such as Bhim thwarted the vile schemes of malevolent Asuras.

The essence of her stories, laden with moral lessons, left an indelible mark on my young mind and soul. These narratives, rich in wisdom, continue to guide me. In those moments, achumma was not just a storyteller but a conjurer of wonder, transforming the mundane into the extraordinary, imparting valuable lessons along the way. Her legacy, a profound appreciation for storytelling and its virtues, remains a cornerstone of my life, long after her departure.

Thus was kindled my enduring passion for storytelling, a testament to the magic and wisdom bestowed upon me in the glow of that lamp-lit room.


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