The first storyteller by Varun Gwalani is the story of a storyteller. It is the story of a boy in search of stories and in need of telling stories. A boy who, like everyone else is told stories have no future and one must do some practical work. It’s the story of someone who is fascinated by the unknown. Well, we all are fascinated by the unknown but not many make an effort to get out of their comfort zones and explore the unknown. Not many are willing to live the adventure, willing to live with their fears and the unknowns they meet on the way.
The ones who dare end up discovering the secrets first hand. They end up gathering the stories that are still only with the storyteller. More than what you discover outside, you discover the infinite capacity your body, heart, and soul have. This takes you through many such insights and may inspire you to take a journey to the unknown.
Author Varun Gwalani has a way with words. He weaves a very dreamy tale for the reader. The story that could have been very mundane is very interesting because of the way Varun narrates it. Especially, when he narrates the inner world when he describes the forests when he takes you into a fantasy land and creates a make-believe world for you. His gentle prodding, makes you think about your own dreams, about your own curiosities and about the dreams that you did not pursue.
You feel the pain of his protagonist, you feel his joys and sorrows. You feel his need to move on. And You live his tender moments with him, when he meets a girl, when he leaves her behind, when he misses her and when he meets her again. You want to hear the stories that strangers in the forests tell him. You know he is making up the story, but you still want to listen to it just the way you wanted your grandmother to go on and tell you the story you have heard a million times before.
Some interesting quotes from the book:
- When we decide to tell a story, when we decide to listen to a story, we become part of something bigger than ourselves.
- We become the part of a community that heard that story a hundred years ago or will hear it tomorrow.
- Suddenly, we are able to express the most human of feelings, to finally express our deepest loves, share our darkest fears, expunge our worst sorrows.
I must give credit to the editor of this book The First Storyteller, for an impeccable editing. Good editing is so rare these days. Chapters are the right size, something that you can easily digest in one sitting. Since I read it on my Kindle, I missed the cover image and the physical feel of the book.
Incidentally, I read the book in the jungles of Pench National Park, which itself was a surreal experience.
Overall, I am happy to discover Varun Gwalani as an author.