In the noise of applause’s and hooting Shekar was finding his storyteller, the reason behind him being on stage. The person who introduced Shekar with the world of the characters and story. His eyes constantly searching for his idol Akram Chacha.
Not a very old opening, when Shekar was born to Mishra family. In his initial days of growing up, his mother and grandmother used to recite him different bed time stories.
He grew fond of listening stories but one day it all stopped after the death of his grandmother. He couldn’t bear the death of his grandmother and the void that was created in his life.
His world of stories didn’t end there, it was a mere start of the journey.
Enjoying the air of Sikkim, Shekar grabbed his mom’s hand and went towards his school. While he was walking he had a chat with his mom regarding Mahabharata and Ramayana, Shekar got very fond of the story, and he got so lost in the story that he never realized that he reached his school.
While he was passing from a notice broad near his class he came across a notice regarding drama club. He read and couldn’t help but felt drawn the drama club and instead of going to the class, he ran directly towards the auditorium.
He found the auditorium very dark, and so he assumed that the room was empty. Being disheartened he went back to his class, but he couldn’t concentrate in the class his mind kept diverting towards the drama club.
During his lunchtime, he thought of going back to the auditorium just to check whether the instructor arrived or not, and so he went off the auditorium and again he found the room empty but this time the lights was on.
He became little grumpy, and he sat there and waited for anyone to arrive. It was already an hour and no one came, and he thought maybe he read the timings wrong and as he was leaving he heard a backdoor opening, and he saw a long stature in a white shirt and blue jeans entering the room.
When Shekar saw the man he went towards him and asked him to narrate a story to him. That man was startled a little, but then he smiled at him and said you like hearing stories? To which Shekar responded yes.
That young man introduced himself as Akram khan. Soon he hold Shekar hand’s and made him sit beside him and started telling a story from a children book.
The story engrossed Shekar so much that he started visualizing the event happening in front of him. After hearing the story Shekar left the auditorium with a high spirit, and he went directly to class and he kept thinking about the story.
Today may be a door was opened for him, which was yet to be discovered. He enjoyed the process of listening story, but he still couldn’t understand how that person came up with the story.
School Day 2
Shekar went directly to the auditorium and waited for Akram, he was eager to hear a new story. Shekar saw Akram entering the auditorium, and he leaped on him and grabbed his and requested for a new story.
Akram saw the shine in Shekar’s eyes, and he asked him whether he would like to perform in his upcoming play. Shekar abruptly said no and once again asked Akram for a story, Akram took out his book and started reciting one of his stories.
Shekar used to come every day to hear a story from Akram and at times would bring some food or gifts. This kept on happening for 4 weeks and after that Shekar never saw Arkam.
There was never a day in Shekar’s life where he never thought of Akram. He Googled Akram and came to know about his drama club “Story Untold”.
He used to watch Akram’ play online and used to get engrossed into the play. This continued to 9 years until Shekar completed his 10 board.
After 10 years
Shekar was never good at studying but was good at literature and was very incline towards writing Poems and Stories. He started searching for an art college where he could understand the story-telling.
He started understanding the basics through YouTube and went on taking notes but yet after all these years he could not forget the time he spent with Akram Khan.
3 weeks after applying for college, he got a call from Delhi University. He got the admission under Dramatic quota. He started his college 2 months after the call.
On his first day he was assembled in an auditorium and was debriefed about the semester and told about the college expectation.
1st year in college
He started attending colleges, and he went on assisting one of his teacher in play writing. He got an opportunity to learn how to assemble and control the cast.
He also started writing plays for the college competition and usually used to fails because of the lack of depth in the story. Every time he used to lose a competition he used to watch one of the Akram’s play and used to get inspired from them.
He kept himself busy through extra-curriculum activity and used to take part in almost every activity. This led him so score bad marks in his external exams which made him face some serious family heat.
2nd year in college
Shekar made a name for himself in the college, he used to continue taking part in extra-curriculum activities. He also started conducting workshops for juniors to make them understand what is story-telling.
Remaining six months he needed to do internship, which made him apply as an intern in story writing in Akram’s drama company. He also applied for other companies to, but he only wanted to work for Akram.
After applying to 7 companies he was short-listed for only 3, but he was still waiting for Akram’s response. After waiting for several more days he finally took an offer from another drama company and started working with them. He learned a lot from them, but still he was left a little empty inside.
He completed his internship and made a report on it and submitted to his HOD. He was again recognized for his excellent work but everyone was confused to see Shekar sad. After two years of training and studying he got his degree, and was ready to face the world.
Shekar started searching ways to contact Akram through internet, and he finally reached an e-mail Id. He hesitated a little before sending an e-mail to him but eventually gained some courage and went on sending a mail to him.
He kept checking his e-mail for weeks, but he got no response. He was frustrated by the fact that he couldn’t contact Akram, he knew Akram was the one who could mentor him, nurture him and make him realize the essence of the world of storytelling.
One month after
Shekar took up a job in other drama company and started working in theatre, he used to write and direct plays and would at times narrate the story to the audience.
He got appreciation for his work, and he used to enjoy his work to. Things were great for him, but then there was something which pushed him over the moon.
There was a pamphlet of a play which was directed by Akram. He looked closely at the pamphlet and took a note of the timings.
Shekar waited for the day to arrive, and he took a holiday from his company on that particular day and went straight to the theatre and waited for Akram.
While he was waiting for Akram he felt little nostalgic as he remembered how he used to sit for hours waiting for him to recite a story to him. Shekar kept waiting and eventually he slept on the stage, but after sometime his sleep was disturbed due to the noise of door opening it was Akram entering the room.
He was disturbed to see Akram old and crooked and couldn’t help but cried, he ran towards him and made him sit near him and told him to recite a story to him.
Akram looked at the child and smiled, he asked do you like hearing stories to which Shekar replied yes but this time I also enjoy telling a story.
Akram kept staring at Shekar for some time and asked him to recite a story. Shekar took out his book and started reciting the story for him, after listening to the story Akram was very impressed and blessed him for the betterment for his life.
As Akram was leaving Shekar stopped and asked him that can he recognize him to which Akram responded “do I know you from the past” Shekar was stunned and couldn’t speak, and he watched Akram leaving for the back stage.
Shekar saw the play and enjoyed it thoroughly and was purely impressed by Akram’s story. He went back stage and looked for Akram and there he was sitting with some children and reciting a poem to them and laughing with them.
Shekar kept staring the crooked man and thought how this person reached at this stage of life. He went closer and sat beside Akram and said this is one of your best play but I have already heard the story from you.
Shekar then introduced himself and made Akram remember him but failed. Shekar then looked at Akram and said can I work with you to which Akram said I can’t pay you much but even then, you want to work.
The new journey began
Shekar started working with Akram and started calling Akram as Akram chacha. They bonded very fast, and they used to share their ideas regarding their play.
Shekar used to roam around different street to get background and at times to search for his story. Shekar started gaining the essences of story-telling. He used to often see Akram sitting with children and reciting a poem.
One day Shekar finally asked Akram “chacha what fun do you get from reciting poem to those children” to which chacha said “who says the world is where we and who believes they are the children, maybe they are the world which are just waiting to be recognized”.
Shekar became sceptic after listening the words of chacha but without arguing he went on doing his work.
The last of this journey
Once chacha was sitting on the stage and was writing something on the piece of paper, Shekar asked what is that you are writing and Chacha said it’s a story for children.
I don’t have much time left but I do want to gift those children this story which can cherish their life forever. This time I will do the play for free so that all the children can come and enjoy the journey of the theatre.
Soon Chacha started coughing, and he threw some blood from the mouth, shekar being concerned called the doctor and asked him to examine chacha.
Doctor reported that chacha lungs are deteriorating and his time is coming close to say good bye.
Chacha showing no concern about his health started writing the story and also made an announcement of the play.
Shekar looking at chacha coughing started getting irritated, he started making chacha understand that he need to take rest but chacha makes him quiet by saying “one last act, just one”.
After 3 months of intense writing and practicing the day finally arrived when the theatre was opened for the children.
Chacha got all ready to go on stage and glance down at children, but he suffered from intense coughing and was hospitalized.
Shekar took Chacha to the nearest hospital, chacha took Shekar’s hand and said the show must go on, go and take my place. Remind them that theatre has being waiting for and saying this chacha pushed Shekar away.
Shekar with heavy heart went back to theatre and got dressed up and ready. He went on stage and curtains started rolling up and with cracked up heart he put on the smile and with laughing eyes the chacha dies.
Dark room roared with a laughter riot, and he was there enjoying too because he only knew it was his first and chacha’s last night as a story-teller.
After 5 years
Akram’s company got a new face and Shekar went on becoming world’s renowned story-teller.
He got audiences all over the world but on the death day of Akram’s Shekar always opens the gate for the children to make them realize that chacha was waiting for them.