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Call for Short Story Writers – “Katha Series”

katha sarita

Bharateeya Parampara is distinguished by many aspects – StoryTelling is a prominent jewel in that crown. It is not an artistic indulgence of a few in India. On the contrary, it is an integral part of every aspect of life in Bharateeya Parampara. From Philosophy to Science to a conversation in daily life, Katha is both a way of knowledge representation as well as dissemination. Knowledge is crafted into a Katha as a metaphor. The narrative builds an experience that lets gradual assimilation and internalization of the metaphor and the message. It is omnipresent and omniscient. Katha is a way of life in the Bharateeya Parampara. We feel the need for it at all times. The Kurukshetra yuddha pressed Veda Vyasa to tell an epic tale to emphasize Dharma and the difficulty of its pursuit. It elevated itself into a civilizational narrative. Acharya Vishnu Sharma pressed himself to write short stories for 5 erring princes. His perspective elevated that into a statecraft – the Pancha Tantra. The Vedas are full of many stories told in short. The flow of Katha has been eternal in all these millennia.

The Katha has taken different forms at different times. In their length, narration, structure and purpose. The narrators are usually part of the story in India even in very short stories. Dhvani is more prominent than the expression. The Metaphor, Structure and Architecture is adequately emphasized but the lyrical narration and purpose are the chosen elements. In the recent, we have added an element of finesse and realism – thanks to modernity. 20th Century saw our Katha tradition taking a different turn. Literature began to be segregated and written for different age groups. We saw the revolution of Chandamama, Balamitra, Tinkle, the Weekly and Fortnightly Magazines targeting the children but at the same time being relevant for all age groups. Suffice it to say that the Bharateeya Parampara built new mirrors to show ourselves to new generations depending upon the time, space and context. It is now incumbent upon us to do the same. Let us bring our tradition and civilization in the form of Short Stories and present it to future generations.

Indic Today is pleased to launch an initiative to create a new body of Katha – The Short Stories. This is a call to all Indic Writers, Bharateeya Pampara enthusiasts to pick up your pen and etch your stories, craft your metaphors, draw your narratives – let the civilization flow as Katha. Please note the following.

  • Keep the Stories to 1500 to 2000 Words
  • For now, we support the languages of English, Hindi, Kannada, Telugu
  • Stories must be Quick-Reads, impactful and compelling enough for retelling in a conversation
  • Stories must impactfully present an aspect of our Parampara in interesting form for new generations
  • Itihasa, Purana, Tatvashastra, Shaastreeya Sahitya (Classical Literature), Folk as well new Creative Stories are all welcome

To give a sense of the kind of stories we are looking at, here is a non-exhaustive reference set.

  1. Chandamama
    1. https://chandamama.page
    2. https://archive.org/details/chandamama-magazine
  2. Balamitra
    1. https://archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3A%22Balamitra+Magazine%22
  3. Panchatantra
    1. Panchatantra Online
  4. Kathasaritsagara
    1. http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/40588
  5. Jataka Tales
    1. http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/62514

The overarching consideration would be Bharateeyata. It must have the concern of a parent to impress upon children to continue the Tradition. Selected Stories will be published on Indic Today in a separate section called Katha. Please send in your entries to EDITOR@indictoday.com

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