NAHARLAGUN, Aug 26: The ‘Stories Worth Sharing Itanagar 3.0’ or SWSI 3.0 event was held at the Coffee Tribe cafe here on Sunday afternoon with over 20 people coming together to share their stories with friends, acquaintances, and (mostly) strangers.
SWS is a voluntary storytelling meet, and is held as and when the organisers have the time or inclination to host the event.
The first edition of SWS in Arunachal was held in January this year in Itanagar, while the second one was held in April at the same venue as this time.
Most stories were personal experiences, which varied from cases of molestation, a Cinderella-like story of a boy (as the speaker put it), poems, childhood memories (some good and bad), and even short motivational speeches.
The host of the event this year, Amal R Namboothiri, is a student at the NERIST, and made the event possible with other student-volunteers from his institute. The documentation of the event was done voluntarily by the student-volunteer team of Golden Glasses.
While 20 people registered for the storytelling meet, eight speakers shared their stories. Last year, 30 people had registered, and there were 12 speakers at the event.
At the end of the programme, the speakers and listeners can write down what they liked about an individual speaker and hand it to them in a postcard (provided by the hosts). This, Amal said, encourages interaction between the speakers and listeners, and helps create a connection.
‘Stories Worth Sharing’ is an initiative of Mohit Munjal and Himanshu Poswal from Delhi. The two friends came up with the idea when they were sitting on the ghats of the Ganga in Varanasi and struck up a conversation with some visiting strangers.
This soon gave the duo the idea to hold a casual meet-up at Delhi’s Lodhi Gardens on 19 March, 2017.
On learning that it helped some attendees move on from their depressive thoughts, they decided to continue the programme, and the second SWS was held in Bengaluru on 18 June, 2017. The third meet was held on 30 July in Chennai the same year.
As SWS connects people, they form a chain and go on to host similar events in their respective towns and cities.
“Since the meet is not bound by laid down rules, the next SWS could be held anytime the volunteers are free to offer their services,” informed Amal.