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.

What are they made up of?

Iron melts after a certain breaking point, turning into its molten state. It is forged to make the sword. It is beaten, beaten and beaten until its edges can stand no other. In the hands of the warrior, it is a lethal weapon, one that drew kingdoms over maps.

All of us have been that iron, put through the furnace, beaten, beaten, into pieces and we have the capacity to emerge as the slender razor sharp weapon.

The heat is inevitable, so is the beating, but great swords become great in the process, so do achievers. One may never know what the sword has been through but its sharp edges as it pierces through the wind. They are all the same swords put into the heated furnace, beaten by the hands of destiny, and they rise like shining silver in the sun. They began as irons and ended up drawing kingdoms.

“I’ve been called Nepal’s Bill Gates, but I have nothing in common with him. I don’t wear glasses.”

-Mr. Allen B. Tuladhar.

He’s the creator of the fun filled “Typeshala” that we grew up with, who declined the offer to be the second man at the Shanghai office of Microsoft to work for his country, where there are still places with ‘potatoes, corns and no salt.’

“We do not need to copy Bollywood.”

-Mr. Nakim Uddin.

He’s the man behind the multiple QFXs cinemas that hundreds of people walk in and out of everyday. Team Quest was the first to digitize cinema in Nepal. QFX, the name that echoes in every major mall in Kathmandu was inspired by commonly used technical terms VFX and HFX.

“I knew nothing about the restaurant business, I knew nothing about food except to eat.”

-Mr. Shyam L. Kakshapati

The flagship café in town, Nanglo Bakery Cafe is his brainchild. His passion for food, friends and good music, a cafe and pub that began with 18 stools forever changed the outlook of restaurants in the Nepali eye.

As I walked out of the hall, Stephen Hunt’s words echoed in my ears. “If you’re not living at the edge, you’re taking up too much space.” 

You’ve been taking up too much of space! Go run and chase your dream!


I had this amazing opportunity to attend The Storytellers’ Pioneer Series on 30th March 2016 where three amazing personalities graced the stage with their stories.

By the end of the show, a thousand stimulus had flashed across my mind. We often only get to witness the sharp edges of the sword, as they collide against another in the battle against time; very rare do we get to see it being forged like million others.

What are they made up of? Flesh, bone and blood, like we are too. They’ve had their good, bad and ugly times. And yet they stand. So can we.