Monday, Sep 24, 2018 | Last Update : 07:38 PM IST

Playing mind games

THE ASIAN AGE. | TRISHA GHOROI
Published : Sep 6, 2018, 12:43 am IST
Updated : Sep 6, 2018, 12:43 am IST

Attend the workshop at The Cuckoo Club, Mumbai on September 9, 10 am onwards.

Priyanks Patel at a previous workshop
 Priyanks Patel at a previous workshop

As a five-year-old, when Priyanka Patel narrated a story on stage for the first time and won a prize for it, it sparked a passion. And combining her love for storytelling with her knowledge of psychology, Priyanka is all set to host a workshop called ‘Introduction to Emotional Intelligence through Storytelling’.

Open to anyone whose work revolves around dealing with people, she says, “In this session, the participants will get a chance to explore their own emotions and find ways of expressing them. They will also learn tricks and techniques to tell stories effectively.” The stories that people listen to and the way they behave has a direct link so in her narrations, the characters always come up with solutions after going through emotional turmoil. “The way I conduct stories, the characters go through emotional ups and downs and usually find effective solutions to the problems. The stories range from being traditional to mythological,” says the 36-year-old, who plans to follow up each story with an activity to help the audience reflect upon their emotions and actions.

Taking a unique approach, Priyanka’s narration includes folk tales, mythological tales, and Sufi stories. She explains the importance of each genre saying, “Folktales are stories about people from a particular place and it celebrates their lifestyles and beliefs. Mythological tales, on the other hand, are epics that use a lot of symbolism to explain things, which over the years have become our subtle guiding principles. Sufi stories celebrate austerity, surrendering and a carefree life that’s free from worldly concerns. All these stories also have miracles and mysticism woven into them. For me, these genres hold the secret to our beliefs, ideologies, behaviour, and our ideas of right and wrong. Unravelling these mysteries help us be more accepting and inclusive. “

Priyanka PatelPriyanka Patel

Her love for storytelling has evolved from a childhood hobby to a full time job. “My mother would narrate stories to me and train me to tell them. Over the years, I figured that the beauty of stories is in finding them everywhere. As a kid being trained in Bharatanatyam, the story of the dance was more beautiful to me than the actual dance itself,” she smiles.

While growing up, stories didn’t leave her side but the addition of psychology made things more interesting. “When in college, theatre had consumed me. Even a subject such as psychology was so much more interesting to me, for the lobes of the human brain would tell stories unheard by the conscious self. I immediately saw a link between how we behave and what we hear and used them in therapeutic settings ever since with children and adults alike,” she adds.

Although the event is just an introductory session, Priyanka plans to launch a longer course soon. “We are looking at a course where we’ll be covering different aspects of storytelling. We’ll be covering gender stereotypes, communication skills, emotional intelligence and conflict management but all of these things will be done through the medium of storytelling,” she concludes.

Attend the workshop at The Cuckoo Club, Mumbai on September 9, 10 am onwards.

Tags: mythological, bharatanatyam, priyanka patel, folktales