Published: 15th September 2021
This Odia storyteller intends to use every platform available to ignite one's love for stories
Prachitara Mishra is a new entrant in the world of storytelling but is the fastest evolving one because she is adapting to every platform that are all the rage today. This is why she is everywhere
Scientist Charles Darwin's 'survival of the fittest' theory comes to mind as we speak to Prachitara Mishra about the whirlwind careers that she has been swept away by only to make landfall in the world of storytelling, where she intends to stay. To be honest, it was only in 2018, to be more specific at the storytelling festival BhuFeSto, that the Odia artist really got to delight the world with her story. Coming from a background of music, literature and dance was not the only factor, she was an All India Radio artist as well. She was a journalist and a film critic too who has a Master's in Economics from Utkal University. Her father is the Odisha Sahitya Akademi Award-winner late Dr Prasanna Kumar Mishra, need we say anything more?
As Prachitara heard the call of her inner storyteller, she started her YouTube channel Prachitara Story in March 2019 and now, she has 1.84k subscribers. "Due to the jobs I have pursued in the past, I was extremely comfortable with videos and right from the very first one, I knew that I wanted to do a professional job with it," says the Bhubaneswar-based storyteller. The over 1 lakh views that she has garnered with the 100+ videos she's made is testament to this fact. In July 2021, she started her own Odia podcast titled Prachi Katha. "These are narrations of old classic stories written by pioneers of Odia literature. The language they used is not employed in common parlance today, so I try to simplify the story and draw out its relevance in the modern-day world," she says. So every Sunday, a 17-18 minute episode drops. But wait, the evolution doesn't end here. Prachitara has taken to Instagram too and has been uploading one-minute story videos every week for the past two to three months. "As a storyteller, you want to indirectly give a certain message or responsibility. All youngsters are listening to podcasts and are on Instagram, so I had to make my mark too. It is my children who are actually pushing me to innovate more," she laughs as she shares.
One particular story titled Malayabatira Anasana, written by Prachitara's father, reflects a lot on what the storyteller stands for. The story itself is about an old man who descends from the Moon to fulfil a girl's wish of having a brother. "These stories reflect that girls don't always desire a Prince Charming. Sometimes, they just hope for a brother to play with," explains the YouTuber who dips into the vast ocean of existing stories for her sessions, but is always open to writing a new one if there is a demand for one. Speaking of demand, she has delivered over 20 sessions on storytelling in schools like SAI International School, DPS and KISS, and has impacted over 6,000 students. She also offers teaching training, like the ones she is conducting at DAV Schools, apart from conducting sessions for senior citizens. "My aim has always been to deliver quality Odia stories and help children and everyone else grow," she says and signs off.