Why did it happen?
This may seem an innocuous question. It is. Think deeper and you realize that a “Why” is the reason behind most stories! It is the central reason which propels stories to be formed and told over and over again.
Why did the world come about? Because Adam and Eve came together! And why did they come together? Well because they ate the forbidden apple and were cursed to become humans and so out of heaven!
Something similar is the case with questions like” Why did the Mahabharata happen? Why did Mahavir Singh Phogat go after his daughters to become wrestlers? Why did they have to land a rocket on the moon? Why, why, and more whys!
The fine art of story-telling and weaving magic (including lies in office, lies to the wife/ girlfriend, lies to the teacher and all other lies which were never caught!) by bringing facts across does not arise if the “Why” is not considered strongly at its very onset.
This fact comes out rather strongly when the stories get related to a larger audience like for example movies, TV serials, news articles etc. Implausible stories get some traction till the audience is small as is the case with most folk-lore which are region & religion specific and somehow does not fit into any other genres or stories which need the backing of another story or are not stories at all but are portrayed as such. Like a small fish in a deep and rough sea, small & weak stories get lost in as their “Whys” aren’t strong enough to support their existence. The bigger, more plausible and strongly built stories get told over and over again as there is substance, drama and a certain degree of attraction for the characters therein, like for example the central idea of the Gita and the Mahabharata and such epics. People will listen to it a million times. And yet want to listen to it again! Here, the element of “Why” comes out in capital and bold!
To understand the effect of the “Why” in story-telling remember a time in Bollywood in the years between min 90s and early 2000s. Movies were made in numbers and went down just as fast. Why? Because their central themes, the story & bedrock which carries the load of the movie on its shoulders, was very weak (if not completely non-existent in some cases!). The mid-2000s to the present, Bollywood has sprouted some seriously good movies which have been greatly appreciated by the masses. Why? Because the story-line is strong and its narration impressive. A case in point is Anurag Kashyap’s “Gangs of Wassypur”, a gritty yet earthy film on the lives and times of families in a small town in hinterland India which was located on the crossroads of India’s coal belt. The story strongly in place, each character and situation has been given the treatment which sees them stand on their own two feet!
So, for all those among you who want to become story-tellers across mediums, forums and platforms, if there is one thing you ought to keep in mind to make effective stories which get told a million times (and more if it possibly can!), get your “Whys” in place. And do it strongly with all the bells and whistles in place. If done as desired, you could just be on of the most effective story-teller the world has ever seen- and one who can have a name and fame which matches the best in the world!
Prof. Rishi Aacharya
M.Sc.-I.T. ,B.Sc. Multimedia
Principal & Director
University D.L. Programmes
MCE Society’s College of Visual Effects,Design & Art
Ground Floor , Hotel Management Building ,Azam Campus , Camp, Pune 411001