How many of you have passed the statues on Marina beach several times yet, never bothered to find out about any of those people? They all have interesting stories behind them and these personalities have done lots of great work which most of us have no idea about. This is why the 8th Annual ‘Living Statues of Marina’ walk happened on August 23, as part of Madras Week Celebrations. This was conducted by Eric Miller, the director of the World Storytelling Institute.
On the course of the walk, volunteers do brief dramatic enactments, in English and Tamil, of famous figures like Kannagi, NSC Bose, Bharathidasan, Thiruvalluvar, G.U. Pope and Avvaiyar in front of their statues. The walk began in front of Kannagi’s statue with a soulful, energetic performance by Pratigya. She said, “I have acted in a few plays and I have a passion for acting. I have attended this walk as an observer before and this was the first time I volunteered to play a character and it was a nice experience.”
This was followed by a Tamil enactment of the same fervour. NSC Bose was played by Kurunji, a class 5 student who was very enthusiastic. Each statue presented something new and thought-provoking. The audience stood and listened as G.U. Pope told us about how he translated the Thirukural and Thiruvaaasagam into English and Avvaiyar told us about her love for poetry. Bharathidasan’s poems and a few Thirukurals were also recited in Tamil.
There was something in the beach air that made the whole event energetic and refreshing. Eric said, “We have maximum participation and volunteers this year. Otherwise, I had to act out a few characters myself because of a lack of volunteers.” To know more about other events by the World Storytelling Institute, visit http://www.storytellinginstitute.org/
Gopika is an Economics graduate on the outside, and a writer on the inside. She used to be a student reporter for YOCee which she says, gave her the kickstart to move on to writing with her university magazine – The Context, an online news website called the Bastion, and become a peer tutor at the University Writing Centre, Her post-lockdown plan currently is to do her two-year fellowship with Teach for India