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It’s a familiar story, a young person bailing out on his dreams to satisfy the vicarious demands of his parents. Doctor Man, a 15-minute soliloquy from the play Taramandal, narrates the story of a young man reminiscing about his decidedly unglamorous life as a doctor, when all he wanted to be was a theatre actor. He talks about the lost opportunities, his passion for acting and how his parents’ wish of seeing him as a doctor led him to sacrifice his ambitions.

“It’s something that we see happening all the time. The idea is to encourage young people to follow their dreams and think about theatre as a mainstream career choice," says Neel Chaudhuri, the play’s director and artistic director of The Tadpole Repertory, a Delhi-based theatre group which will be presenting the monologue at the event What’s Your Story? in New Delhi on Thursday. “It gels with the theme of the event as it is the story of most people in India who want to, or wanted to, be someone else, but decided on a more conformist profession in their lives," he says.

Curated by Delhi-based arts and lifestyle magazine Platform, the event is the second chapter of What’s Your Story?—the first took place on 30 October. “What’s Your Story? is a creative gathering where artists narrate their personal journeys and experiences and inspire people, including young children, to take up more creative endeavours," says Shruti Kapur Malhotra, editor of Platform, and the organizer of the event.

Delhi-based documentary film-maker Priya Goswami, who will be participating alongside The Tadpole Repertory, will showcase her National Award-winning documentary A Pinch of Skin, on the practice of female genital mutilation in India. “It’s a very secretive reality that exists in our country but no one talks about it. So it is important for people to know about the stories of the people who are being affected by it," says Goswami.

The event will also see creations by Delhi-based designer Rohan Chhabra, who will showcase his collection Endangered project, which includes hunting jackets that can be pulled apart and reconstructed to form replicas of animals under threat.

The exhibits will be followed by an interactive session with the artists. Goswami, for instance, will tell the audience about the visual and situational challenges she faced while making the documentary. “It will encourage the dialogue between the artists and the people about art in India," she says. Adds Chaudhuri: “The amalgamation of such diverse artists and their narrations of their personal and artistic challenges will also help people acknowledge the realities and possibilities of taking up such professions."

The artists feel that such events are critical to bridging the gap between art and its takers. From now on, says Malhotra, the event will be held once every two months. They also intend to take the event to other cities.

What’s Your Story? will be held on 3 April, 7-9pm, at CMYK Bookstore, 15-16 Meherchand Market, Lodi Road, New Delhi. Entry is by invitation. For details and invitations, email or call 011-41323274.

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