Qissaa is Kolkata’s first storytelling festival, curated by Sujoy Prosad Chatterjee, Paramita Saha and presented by Qissaa (Vibha Mitra).Three iconic arts personalities came together to create the magic of imagery and imagination through the works of Rabindranath Tagore.The festival was inaugurated in the august presence of Lopapudra Mitra.
On the first day of the festival Bijoylakshmi Barman took the audience on a journey of the Tagore texts in Bangla. Usha Ganguly spoke about the Hindi translations of Rabindranath’s works. Actress Ekavali Khanna presented Usha Ganguly. The third day saw singer Pramita Mallick read from some of her favorite Tagore texts and take the position of the storyteller.
Qissaa is educationist Vibha Mitra’s lifetime romance with Indian textiles. This quaint and stylish store at 21/1, Lansdowne Terrace is a continuing endeavor to inspire sustainable lifestyle for the handloom weavers of India. Vibha presents her personal and signature preference of Jamdani, Baluchari, Dhakais, Tangails, Phulia, Tussar, Kantha, Batik, Qatan, Munga, Ajraks, Kotas, Gamchhas along with special combination saris designed by her at the Qissaa Store.
Vibha Mitra who is the owner of the store Qissaa said “This is not the traditional sari shop. When I met Paramita, a change happened in my life. She came up with this idea of storytelling festival and I consented to doing it. The saris in my shop are priced affordably so that the customers walking in can buy the ones they like. I really hate it when I cannot buy something I like due to its exorbitant pricing. Hence the pricing has been done accordingly”.
Usha Ganguly who read ten women centric stories of Tagore like Sasthi, Maanbhongo, Aparajita and others said “The art of storytelling is nothing new. It had been there in our tradition for many years now. I have always championed causes of women and hence I am reading such women centric stories today. This initiative is indeed good as this will expose many to the joys of listening to a story”. She also mentioned that storytelling must be introduced in schools and students must be inspired to tell stories.
Paramita Saha said “When Qissaa started last year, Vibha mentioned that this will not be like the other sari sops in the city. Hence when she mentioned of doing something different, I and Sujoy came up with this storytelling festival. This has not been done in the city. Moreover this is Tagore’s birth month. Hence Tagore has become an important part of this storytelling session”.
The packed audience at the store ensured that storytelling is not a dying art. It still has its charm!!
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