It was a fine effort from the members of The Unnoticed (a group of students from JNU that works for underprivileged children of construction workers) and Bookaroo in the City team to hold a storytelling session for them in the open-air theatre at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus. The session was conducted by the extremely talented and irrepressible, Ankit Chadha.

Captivated by Mr Chadha

Captivated by Mr Chadha

The session began at 4pm with 30-40 children in the age group of 6-12 years. Ankit started the session with one of his favourite stories – that of the Swans and the Two Kings in a very unconventional and innovative way. His boundless energy and acrobatic efforts, all through the session, kept the children involved and amused. And they just did not want him to stop.

Ankit was game enough to go on and on before he ended the session on a high note with the story of The Lady with a song. The children made Ankit promise that he would visit them again.

Ankit passed out of Hindu College in 2008. He is an avid reader and writes in Hindi, Urdu and English. He uses voice modulation – and an expressive face – to great effect. Better known for Dastangoi (the traditional art of storytelling in Urdu), Ankit says that he is looking forward to a serious career as a writer too.

The organisers were as impressed as the children. In fact, they wanted to use Ankit’s services for storytelling workshops. According to them, this would sharpen their brain and enhance their language, thus ‘enriching their vocabulary and creativity’. They also promised to bring the children over for the main Bookaroo to be held on November 23rd and 24th, 2013.

Amit Sharma