A Storyteller

There are thousands lore, tales and stories
in rural Bengal
and dozens of storytellers
in every village
each maintains their own style
and separate identity
but all introduce to the realm and breathe
of nation's storytelling tradition.

I remember a storyteller
from my neighbouring village
Baliram Bhakat
a poor farmer, middle school fail
after his hard work in field
he used to come to my village daily
in the month of ‘Bhaaddra' (Aug-Sept)
for telling the story.

In West Bengal
‘Bhaaddra' Is the month for listening story
males would assemble at roadside
at 8 pm
and he used to tell story.

He was not only a good storyteller
but a composer, artist, singer, dancer
and an actor too
I saw him run on ideas
speak the music of language
dance to the tune of imagination
act on impulsive creativity
and dug into the culture and heritage.

He was inhabiting several worlds
and living the lives of multiple characters
he is no more
but still, alive in people's heart
as a fantastic storyteller.

by Asit Kumar Sanyal

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