We are the stories of our lives!

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We are the stories of our lives!

Friday, 09 February 2024 | Sanjay Chandra

We are the stories  of our lives!

There are stories all around us. All that is required is a little empathy on our part to patiently listen to people around us

Each one of us lives through stories in life. What is each incident, each event, if not a story in itself? And, when there are stories, then there is an urge to narrate, and an urge to be heard. It could be the silent wail of desperation seeking help; or it could be the desire to be appreciated, to be accepted.

The Internet is an interesting place to be at. However, if someone had told me even at the turn of the century the remarkable changes that this virtual entity would bring into our lives, I would have laughed. My story is not about the internet though; but the way it has helped us cope.

I read somewhere on the virtual world recently that there are libraries in Denmark, and in 50-odd other countries, where you rent humans for 30 minutes to recount their stories. A quick search on the net revealed that there are at least three human library groups in India on Facebook.

I too started writing on social media a few years back. The sporadic writing turned into a passion so strong that now I must write something each day. It was my way of overcoming introverted nature. I could express my feelings and emotions without fear of being judged.

I was returning home by train recently after attending a literature festival at a university in Gujarat, where I also interacted with young adults during a creative writing workshop on storytelling conducted by me. Almost all the students were from small towns in India. Without exception, all of them had been inspired by someone close. More importantly, I could sense an urge in these young creative minds to write these stories that had motivated them so much.

My co-passengers on the train were two younger persons. One of the persons, probably not older than 19, was to disembark at Kota – the city which has helped many youngsters attain their dreams, but has also seen many unfortunate incidents due to peer pressure that many of our youngsters could not sustain. They too needed someone out there to listen to them.

I also presumed that he was studying in Kota. He was not. He was going to meet his younger brother. He had already joined MIT in America. He elaborated upon the full form of MIT in case I did not know. He then showed me his Instagram profile, which contained a number of pictures of leading politicians from his native state. The boy wanted to talk about his life and wanted to be heard. He had also used the social media to reach out.

The other person in the cabin was probably a decade and a half older. He too opened up about his life story. He now runs a successful business in the education sector. When he realised that I was a published author, he told me that he was also working on a manuscript containing memoirs from his life. He strongly felt that he lost three important persons in his life due to him. He too wanted a sounding board.

There are many such stories all around us. In fact, all of us are the stories of our life. All that is required is a little empathy on our part, to patiently listen to people around us. This small act may go a long way in redeeming a life!

(The author is an electrical engineer with the Indian Railways and conducts classes in creative writing; views are personal)

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