Bangalore International Centre, had arranged a Talk on “The Story Within US All” by Mr.Aroon Raman, Managing Director, RamanFibre Science and Best Selling Author, on 07thFebruary, 2014 at 6.30 PM. Book unveiling and short reading was done by Mrs.YasmeenPremji.
Mr.Aroon Raman, a businessman-entrepreneur based in Bangalore, is one of the very few people in the business space to have turned his hand to writing thrillers. His first book, The Shadow Throne, is a sub-continent based spy thriller which went on to become a national bestseller. His second book, also released by Pan Macmillan, is called The Treasure of Kafur, and is fast-paced adventure story set in Mughal India.
Mr.Raman began his talk with an account of how indigenous people all over the world – be it the bushmen of Africa or the tribals of India – all had an enormously rich storytelling tradition. Indeed the stories and myths of such people were deeply embedded in their collective consciousness and formed an integral part of their inner life and as manifested in their relationship with the physical world.
However, modernity has been deeply destructive of this inner world of primitive peoples and has led to their cultural decline.
Mainstream societies in many parts of the world still managed to retain myth and magic in its younger generations; India has been an excellent example of this right through the 20th century where Indian mythology, whether Hindu, Christian or Muslim were kept alive through the mechanisms of generational storytelling. As Mr.Raman stressed, the purpose of such stories is not just for building value systems, but also creating a rich interior landscapes so that some of the creative imagination of the child continues to exist even when one becomes an adult.
But with the coming of the internet and technology age, the old modes of oral storytelling are fast fading. First books, now computers and smart devices have taken over in many societies. Social media and other forms of entertainment are crowding out the simple telling of stories. At the same time pressures of living, economic stress and negotiating one’s path in a more complex and demanding world have left very little space within us all for the play of imagination.
Using a number of humorous examples, Mr.Raman demonstrated why India remains, par excellence, the home of the “bizarre within the mundane, and the funny within the serious”. The business of daily living, far from being the traffic jam that most of us feel can actually be an open road filled with deep insights. Stories are abound everywhere in our midst and all it requires is that we keep ourselves awake.
Mr.Raman illustrated this point with several humorous examples by way of slides and photographs from the streets of India and ended with a case for cherishing and building on the inner spaces of our childhood.
The Treasure of Kafur, a Mughal adventure, was also released on the occasion by Mrs.YasmeenPremji, who also did a short reading from the book.