Stories and Conversations: The StoryYellers, An Experience

I am an Iron, a little piece of Iron, mixed with alloy. I may never be a sword, drawing kingdoms over maps, held by knights in their shining amours, cutting through another sword in the battlefield. I will never be named like them. I may never be forged into a sword. May be I’d become a key to a lock that guards the treasury, a tiny little dagger that hangs by the side of the pirates, a pot that cooks porridge in it. I am a little Iron and will get rusted someday, but whatever be my part, I shall play it well.

My heart starts beating on my knees and I cough incessantly.

Starry skies with streaks of clouds trailing across, light down over on the tiny stage indoors, wooden chairs, voices that laughed from all sides. I could smell them instead of just hearing. I had been waiting for the moment, but I dreaded the consequences, I dreaded myself of all, for the double edged sword I had put myself over. But who am I kidding? Of course it can be done. There is no perfect time, only now.

****

I’m pretty sure I re-read it over and over again.

“You’re going to be one of the speakers.”

When Prashanta Manandhar, the Founder of The Storytellers and my teacher and mentor wrote to me with these words, I was honored, nervous and excited all at the same time. This was THE invitation to be one of the speakers at The StoryYellers, an event by The Storytellers.

“Its like an invitation to Cinderella’s first ever Royal Ball.” I said.

What am I going to talk about? I did not have a single clue. But I had Jack and Gus and the fairy god mother came as the people who helped me walk this journey. There were evil villains too, inside my head, in my conscious as fear, doubt and worthlessness. But I was reminded every time that I was there for a reason.

As an introvert, yelling out my little story aloud was like peeling my skin off.

“More personal stories.”

I had often wondered if putting my story out under the sun would do any good. But stories are stories and they all have something to tell, I had forgotten the most important line a writer holds to, while I tried to become one myself.

“You can’t inspire 200 people at once. There’s that one person in the audience, your aim is to get that one person.” My teacher often reminded me.

I listened to the chit chats during rainy evening rehearsals in a cozy little room that hummed of ideas and stories at the end of each practice session, as we prepared for the final day. MBA after BBA. MBA after work. SMEs. Universities. Bank overdraft. Theater. Business. The Heat. Rain. Power Cut.

I absorbed each conversation trying to find a story inside, tying to find my story inside. Some answers I had been looking for had begun appearing in blotted patterns.

A couple of weeks before as I watched the class of 2016 leave school, I was gripped by fear and something they call famously infamously the quarter life crisis. It’s more avid and acute with electronic devises and medias raining down our walls everyday. As I stepped into my final year of undergraduate education, I found myself desperately trying to catch the train that’s already left. The next train is coming, I forget again.

There’s something these everyday conversation with everyday people made me realize as I tried to build my story for the final day: There is nothing like crisis, it is crisis all the time. At any point in time, we’re always lost, but that is not an excuse to remain lost. Nobody has everything figured out. I’ll replay myself these words, when I get lost into the pit of comparison or when the anxiety of a perfectly planned future cripples my 20 something brains. It’ll be alright.

When I did the first round up of my story of growing up as a left handed child, it sparked a conversation inside the room. Kashyap Shakya, one of the fellow speakers at the event, shared that my story gave him a newer perspective of his two year old son’s handedness, who hadn’t yet developed a specific dominant hand.

I had no idea that it mattered, that it would generate newer perspective about handedness, especially to parents. I had to put my story under the sun.

****

I stepped up with the lights hitting my eyes over the stage, yelling my left handed story alongside The Ambidextrous Project. I hope I found that one person in the audience who took away something from my little story. May be I already have.

The more I learn about the wonderful personalities living everyday lives like anyone here, I am constantly blown away by their stories that surface inside their tough skins. It’s like gravitation never existed, and even if it did exist, it had no control over the intense feeling surging up inside me.

I am blessed and humbled by this opportunity.


A big thank you to my parents who were in the audience with their support and inspiration, my teacher and mentor Prashanta Manandhar and The entire The Storytellers family for their trust, belief and hard work, my friends who came all the way to watch me, the three impeccable speakers who taught me so much through their stories: Kashyap Shakya, Bilal Ahmed Shah and Deepesh Poudel, and the audience who stayed with us. 

Somebody who loves to read, write, listen and converse,

Alfa

The StoryYellers is a proud presentation of The Storytellers, where everyday stories of everyday people are celebrated. The first series happened on August 17, 2016.

Left Handed Story

As a kid I was silently proud of being a left hander (I am still today!), particularly because my father often told me that Prince William is also a left hander. As a four year old kid that meant a lot; it meant you shared something in common with the Royal Prince of the United Kingdom thousand miles away. With just 10 to 13% of the world population being left handed, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that being a leftie has something unique associated with it.

But it wasn’t always so. In the past being left handed wasn’t considered cool or even good as it is today. Some of the very awful things have being associated with the left hand from devil to being abnormal. Now, thanks to science we know that choosing the left is absolutely normal. Science admits that there’s no straight answer to why some people choose their left hand as their dominant hand, and forcing kids to change their dominant hand has its share of consequences. It is perhaps a complex choice that the wires inside our little head make.

And not to forget the long list of left handers (from Bills Gates to Paul McCarthy) who have done exceptionally well, that being left handed has become a sign of creativity (science doesn’t really have proof that left handed people are more creative than right handed people).  To the other side of the story left handers have a higher risk of brain disorders (many sociopaths are left handers!). Seems like we’re on the extreme of both the poles!

Whatever be the science behind, enjoy your left handness! It’s a beautiful mystery of the brain and we’re part of it! It just feels good to be yourself now, doesn’t it?

And by the way did you know that GRRM’s beloved character Arya Stark is left handed? Also that you can play the piano single handedly with your left hand (notations have been written for the left handed players something I came to know about through Sidney Sheldon’s novel The Stars Shine Down). Also left handers have an upper hand in tennis (reminds me of Rafael Nadal-another Southpaw addition to the list!)

August 13 is the International Left Handers Day. Southpaws unite!

(Image from theurbanpolitico.com)