Anirudh Kumaran



Anirudh Kumaran


The Storyteller

The Storyteller

8 mins

The bell rang in the school, Sai ran into his class to make sure that he was not late. Sai was a studious boy. He was very shy and softspoken. He was a teacher’s pet and always used to top all the exams. Especially, in Maths and Science, it was sure that he will get the full marks. He works hard to retain that position. He has many good qualities like obeying elders and being punctual and neat. Everybody is jealous of his good behaviour and intelligence. But, Sai is not very happy about himself. He thinks he is very shy and not bold. He thinks inferior to the other boys who have a great interest in sports because he doesn't like sports at all. His teachers urge him to take part in extracurricular activities to overcome his stage fear.

As Sai ran into the class, he was followed by a teacher. That teacher walked in and started“All of you come out of your Monday morning blues and get ready for the assembly”.Sai kept his bag in his place and went for the assembly.

After the prayer, the principle announced “I am very glad to inform about the TALENTINA 2k19. There are several competitions going to be held. So, roll up your sleeves and showcase your talent”.

Sai said to himself “Can I participate in this competition??? Will others laugh at me??” Thinking about this Sai went back to his class.

Another teacher came in and said, “The first set of competitions are Storytelling, Story writing and Story development. Each winner of this competition will get a fully paid trip to Oxford University and a 30-day course for writing”.

Sai was instantly hooked up on this. His dream was to study in Oxford. But, Sai thought whether he could do it. But, he wanted to. So after he came home, he took Banana(his AI robot which could answer) to his room.

Sai slowly opened to Banana about his interest in participating in the storytelling competition. He said “My friend, can I participate in the storytelling competition? What if I start stammering in between my narration?

Banana replied, “You won’t stammer at all. You speak well and I think you can do it”. Sai said “But, can I do it? What if I don’t speak well and they reject me?” Banana advised “Even if you are rejected, it is ok. But when you miss a chance you won’t get it back. Even if you fail, you will have the confidence to work hard and win the next time. So, just give it a try”.

Sai replied, “All this is ok, but which story will I narrate?”

Banana thought for a while and said: “Let’s look through your bookshelf”. They kept on searching but nothing was catchy and good.

Suddenly, his mother slammed into his room and asked “OMG, What have you done to the room? I want you to clean the room, pack your bag and go to sleep”. Saying this she went out. Sai cleaned the room and went to bed with a sad mind as he could not find a good story.

The next day as he was gobbling up his breakfast, he heard a ring. It was the doorbell. An old woman was standing in front of the door. Sai was flabbergasted as it was his grandma. He was sure that he wasn't on his vacations as his grandma would come only during vacations.

His mom came out of her room and whispered to him “I heard you saying about the competition to Banana and I know you could not get the right story to narrate in the competition. That is why I asked Grandma to come home. She had to come for her monthly checkup and I asked her to come here”.

He was happy because he could finally get a story. But confused whether his grandma would tell new stories or the same Mahabharatha and Ramayana stories.

Suddenly, he heard his father shrieking “Sai, it’s time for school, come fast.”

At school, he had a free period and during that period he finished all that day’s work. And, he was sitting idle thinking about the story in the other periods. His day passed by and he was so excited because he had thought about the story all day long.

He walked home from his IIT class and eagerly searched for his grandma. His grandma’s name was Kamala. He went and stood beside her and asked: “Patti, what story are you going to tell me? Don’t tell me the same old Mahabharata and Ramayana stories”.

Kamala Patti replied: “I am going to tell you a new Mahabharatha story. But, on one condition, you must finish all your household and school now.”

Sai ran to do all the work. He finished his homework in a jiffy and cleaned his room properly and was ready to listen to the story. But,his grandma had started cooking dinner for them. He waited and waited until his grandma came. He said to himself “The moment has come”.

Finally, his grandma came and sat with him and started “Long ago, when the Pandavas were in exile in the forest, they received visits from many sages, kings and ministers who were horrified at the turn of events. They came to discuss matters with the Pandavas and show their support. Draupadi found it very difficult to attend to these numerous guests because the Pandavas were very poor in exile and living in the forest where nothing was available.

One day, Krishna suddenly came to visit the Pandavas. Along with him was his usual troop of numerous men. The Pandavas received Krishna with a traditional ceremony, and they all sat down and began talking happily. However, Draupadi did not come out of the house to greet Krishna. Instead, she was sitting and weeping in the kitchen.

After some time, Krishna sensed that something was wrong. He made an excuse of wanting to drink water and entered the kitchen and had a word with her. With tears in her eyes, Draupadi bowed her head before Krishna and showed him an empty pot in which she had cooked rice that morning, and said: 'This is all I have in my kitchen, Krishna.'

The pot was empty and she did not have any more rice in the house. But Krishna said to her: 'Thank you sister, this is all I need. Look carefully. Is your rice-pot really empty? Can my sister's kitchen ever be empty of food? Look carefully.' Draupadi looked, and she found a single grain of rice stuck inside the pot. Krishna said, "A single grain of rice if offered to God with love and humility, becomes the vital ingredient which feeds the whole universe." He then ate that single grain of rice, and at that time, for that day, the whole universe was stomach-full and contented.

There was no hunger in the entire world that day, and of course, Krishna's troop and all of Draupadi's other guests were fed. This miraculous and divine phenomenon happened on the day which is celebrated now as 'Akshaya Tritiya' every year. Pleased with Draupadi's truthfulness, Lord Krishna blessed her with the Akshaya Patra, a vessel that would give unlimited food every day till Draupadi finished eating.”

 Sai was so engrossed in listening to the story, there was a bang in the door. His mother came inside and said it was time for dinner. He ate dinner and went to sleep. He had a thought in mind “Instead of telling this story as it is, why can’t we modernise it and tell it as if it is happening now in this timeline. Won’t it be very new and trendy? Let me think about it”.

He went to sleep with this thought in the mind. Next day, he went to school early and sat in his place. His friend came running and told in the class “the Storytelling competition of Talentina will be held today in the assembly. Those who wish to participate can go backstage”.

Sai ran to the backstage and whispered to himself, “You can do it Sai, You are the winner…Be confident”.After the prayer was sung, the speaker announced the first name for Storytelling. Sai was the last person to narrate the story, so he waited until everybody finished. Many of them told pieces from epics, some even told superhero stories. At last, Sai went up to the stage.

Sai went and started, ”When the Pandavas lost all the games of PUBG they played with the Kauravas, they were sent to exile to the forest. During their tenure, they were visited by Krishna and his troops. Krishna asked Draupadi if she could get him regular size Margherita pizza for him and his troops. Without uttering a word, Draupadi went inside the kitchen.

After Krishna sensed that there was something wrong, he made an excuse to drink 7up and went inside the kitchen. He saw Draupadi weeping in one corner. He went up to her and asked: 'What happened my sister??'

Draupadi answered “Anna, I only have one jalapeno left in this only oven I have. I have only this to offer you and your big troop,' she sobbed.

Krishna said, 'OMG, what a pity! Is this the state of my sister?'

Saying this he took the jalapeno in his hand and said, 'I am eating this and the world will be contented with food' and he ate it. The world felt like they have eaten a full pizza. The rich and the poor were fed. Draupadi thanked him. And Krishna gifted her the app Akshaya Swiggy. Krishna said, 'Whatever food you want if you click one button in this it will be delivered to your doorstep. You need not pay for the food but you have to pay GST.' Draupadi thanked him again and was happy."

Everybody clapped thunderously and even the teachers applauded Sai. The next moment, the principal declared, “For his immense creativity, Sai is the winner of this competition. He also is the fortunate one to study at Oxford University.

Sai was very joyous and said to himself: “Trend is always the king and I took the RIGHT CHOICE."

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