Caricature/Cartoon of Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean!

Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Mr. Bean (played by Rowan Atkinson) on your Favorite Caricature Blog!

A Caricature, sketch, drawing, cartoon of Rowan Atkinson, the British Actor and Comedian, as Mr. Bean.

Mr. Bbbbeeaaan!

For all I know, Mr. Bean could be the most caricatured celebrity ever! The web is full of his caricatures, and mine is going to be just another one of them. I’ll be honest with you. Not doing Mr. Bean’s caricature was like…well, not eating chocolate. Everyone I know eats chocolate, except my dog and I. Similarly Everyone who can draw makes a caricature of Mr. Bean – in fact, most of the times, you don’t even have to make the effort of exaggerating his features…you just draw his portrait and you are done!

So, I’ve done it too; and now that I’ve got Mr. Bean’s sketch ready, I’m feeling lighter, brighter, snappier, and happier! I’ve done it too!

For those of you, who haven’t known this paradox in a tweed coat, here’s…

The Shortest Biography of Rowan Atkinson a.k.a. Mr. Bean, on the Web!

Rowan Atkinson was born on 6th January, 1955 in the Durham County of England. Being a Jan-born, he obviously stuck with safer career options than acting, and studied to become an Electrical Engineer. Things would’ve been different if the acting-bug hadn’t bit him. But it did, and despite his obvious disadvantage of having been born a Capricorn (a goat if you please) he managed to become a comedian. He began his career with Radio Comedy Show called “Atkinson People“. Then he worked with Angus Deayton as a comic, to form a comedy duo where Angus was the straight man (in a different sense of the word.)

Rowan Atkinson’s Career:

Atkinson worked on many different TV serials (sitcoms). Here are some of them.

Rowan Atkinson’s most famous character is of course, the unfortunate and clumsy Mr. Bean.

Mr. Bean – A Semi-biographical Caricature-sketch:

Mr. Bean was conceived by Rowan Atkinson while he was still at the University, however, this interesting character that keeps you balancing on the tightrope stretched between affection and irritation, was born in 1990. Technically, Mr. Bean was born on January 01, 1990, when the first episode of Mr. Bean, a British Comedy series was telecast. Mr. Bean then figured in many spinoffs and two movies, “Bean” and “Mr. Bean’s Holiday.” Mr. Bean also inspired an animated series and some books.

Mr. Bean’s Personality and Life:

Mr. Bean lives with his teddy bear, who’s called Teddy. His landlady is called Mrs. Wicket and he’s got a girl-friend Irma Gobbs (View picture here – can you guess who’s who?), with whom he mis-manages his relationship, to the delight of his viewers. Mr. Bean is utterly clumsy.He doesn’t understand the social norms that so tightly bind normal people like you and me, and so he ends up enjoying himself, often on the cost of others. Mr. Bean doesn’t talk much. Yet he combines a lot of mumbling and stuttering with his stumbling and fumbling!

Advertisements

Announcing the Arrival of Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean!

This evening, you are invited to meet Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean 🙂

See you then…

Shafali the Caricaturist

Draw to Smile!

Blog Carnival for Story-writers – 3 Days to go…Read the Stories that have come in!

Hello Visitors of both the Serious and the Casual kinds:)

STOP & READ THIS!

If you don’t know about it already, let me remind you that the September Blog Carnival for Storywriting “Story in the Caricature” is drawing to a close…have you written your story yet?

Here are the stories that’ve come in so far:

I am waiting to read your story:-)

Here’s a quick To-do list for participating in the Carnival:

  1. Write a story and post it on your blog.
  2. Add the Permalink to your post in the comments section of the September Blog Carnival Announcement post here.

And yes…

if you love to read stories, read the entries for the previous 3 carnivals here.

I now return to the act of drowning myself in work, but I shall return soon! Meanwhile, go for a treasure hunt in the exotic lands of your mind and bring back a beautiful story. Discover the storyteller within you:-)

Caricature/Cartoon – Shahrukh Khan or King Khan wondering Bollywood ka King Kaun!

Shahrukh Khan (SRK),  the second Bollywood Khan to grace this blog with his caricatured presence, is a famous Hindi Film Star, who started his acting career literally from scratch, and became one of the most celebrated actor of Indian Cinema.

Here’s my take on Shahrukh. He sits here contemplating who is the real King of Bollywood (and hence, King Kaun!)

Caricature, Cartoon, Sketch, or Portrait of Shahrukh Khan, SRK, or King Khan of Indian Cinema, Bollywood!

Bollywood ka King Kaun? Aamir, Salman, or, I?

Shahrukh Khan’s Shortest Biography on the Web:

Shahrukh was born on November 02, 1965, in New Delhi, India. Though he was born and then educated in New Delhi (completed school at St. Columba’s, graduated from Hansraj College in Delhi University, and completed his post-graduation from Jamia Milia Islamia) he moved to Mumbai in 1991, after he lost his parents. Shahrukh (a Muslim) married Gauri (a Hindu) and he says that though he is a devout Muslim himself, his wife follows Hinduism – and the children follow both the religions (This can be really tricky, if you ask me…but don’t ask me – ask him.)

Shahrukh Khan’s Film-Career:

Guess the story began in Delhi, when Shahrukh joined the TAG (Theatre Action Group – Barry John) after which he acted in a television serial called “Fauji” in which he played the role of a commando. This was in the late eighties…and I remember people appreciating his work in the serial.

When he moved to Mumbai in 1991, he began his acting career with a movie called “Deewana”.  Dewaana was followed by hits such as “Darr” and “Baazigar“. Unlike the other two Khans (Aamir Khan and Salman Khan, who were his contemporaries) Shahrukh’s initial movies cast him in semi-villainous roles. The movie that broke the villain-mold (which hadn’t had the time to harden and so broke easily) was “Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge“.

Then came “Pardes” , “Dil To Pagal Hai“, and “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai“, and Shahrukh was established as a Star in Bollywood.

In the decade of 2000, among other movies, Shah Rukh Khan  (SRK) gave us:

This how Shahrukh Khan transformed into King Khan!

Shahrukh Khan’s Six Pack Abs:

This post wouldn’t be complete if I don’t write about his six-pack abs, which he developed for his son Aryan and flaunted in the song Darde-disco in “Om Shanti Om”.

According to Shahrukh:

“I decided to get ’sexy’ for a boy … my son. He kept telling me to go get a six-pack. He’d say that Salman, Hrithik, John were the ‘good physiques’. And even though I’ve always been fit, never fat, he wanted me to get abs, so I did. This one’s for him.”

(Girls…stop drooling…we don’t want to smudge his caricature – do we?)

Here are some other links for SRK’s Fans:

As Always,

Thanks to Wikipedia for being such a wonderful source of information:)

And…special thanks to Barb, whose passion for Shahrukh made this caricature happen:-)

Caricature/Cartoon – Brendan Fraser – George of the Jungle Discovers Ursula!

Drawing Brendan Fraser‘s caricature was a decision driven more by my desire to capture his clean bright looks than by his popularity. The fact that his Wikipedia page scrolls to just two page-heights tells me that he isn’t as famous as I think he should be, but then, the point is, he is still young – and he’s got about 30 years worth of movies left in him. I don’t believe he’d stop acting before he turns seventy!

Here’s Brendan Fraser, George of the Jungle (Tarzan?), with a short-haircut (why can’t he have short hair – he’s got a well-supplied cabin – doesn’t he?), looking at Ursula (Jane?) for the first time. Doesn’t he look smitten?!

The caricature, cartoon, drawing, sketch of Brendan Fraser as George of the Jungle with a much needed haircut, looking at Ursula for the first time!

Now who's that? George's very own Gorgeous?!

Brendan Fraser’s Shortest Biography on the Web:

Brendan Fraser, the Hollywood actor, is a Canadian-American, who was born on December 3, 1968, in Indianapolis, US. His acting career began when he was twenty. In the last twenty years Brendan has worked in more than 30 movies. Fraser was married to actress Afton Smith for fourteen years (a rather long marriage by the Hollywood standards.)

Some Brendan Fraser Movies that you should Watch:

Other Interesting Links for Brendan Fraser:

It’s the time to cast your vote!

It’s voting time once again 🙂

Who do you want to see first?

Brendan Fraser

OR

Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean?!

And yes,

if you haven’t yet read the first story (yes! by Ian Holliday, the Sceptical Believer) Every Job has its Good Bits,

please do so…and when you are done, pen down your own story for the Carnival🙂

Thanks Ian:)

Regards,

Shafali the Caricaturist

(Draw to Smile!)

How to Draw the Caricature of Lady Gaga & The Story of Bad Romance!

Lady Gaga (yes the very same lady who’s entangled in a Bad Romance) is an extremely interesting and an unbelievably creative person.

She is a magician, a dress designer, a hairdresser, a lyricist…and of course, she is a woman trying hard to prove that she’s indeed one. If you ask me, she is one of those amazingly talented control-freaks who don’t even want to leave their caricatures to chance – they want to do them themselves! (Remember Ozzy Osbourne?)

Anyone who’s ever looked at Lady Gaga would know that there’s no caricaturist in the world who could do a better job of caricaturing her, than the lady herself. However, I made the attempt, and now I am here to discuss how you too can draw Lady Gaga’s caricature. (And no – you don’t stop at making her portrait!)

Here’s the caricature under discussion.

A cartoon caricature drawing of Lady Gaga with her weird hairstyle bad romance?

Lady Gaga and the Spider Colony!

Caricaturing the Eyes of Lady Gaga:

Lady Gaga’s eyes are characterized by the kohl she puts around them! You’ve got to load her eyelids and eyelashes with black paint to get the look right. Also stretch those eyelashes to exaggerate them. Don’t change the basic almond shape of her eyes.

Read about “Caricaturing the Eyes” here.

Caricaturing the Lips of Lady Gaga:

Lady Gaga has thicker than usual lips (which go well with her slightly heavy yet chubby face.) Note that I’ve drawn her with an open mouth, which helps you see her teeth. Her teeth are slightly crooked and I’ve maintained that lack of symmetry in the drawing.

Read about “Caricaturing the Lips and the Mouth” here.

(If I were drawing the caricature of a man, I’d treat the teeth differently (they’d be exaggerated to add more humor to the treatment.) However, while drawing the caricatures of women – ensure that their caricatures continue to look pretty:-))

Caricaturing the Hair of Lady Gaga:

Ah! This is where I had to compete with Ms. Gaga herself. I selected what I call her “Candy Floss with Noodles” hairstyle. The size of her coiffure was big enough but I did exaggerate it a bit. The cobwebs were added for the storyline.

(Read about “Caricaturing the Forehead, the Hairline, and the Hair” here.)
Storyline?
Well. Since Ms. Gaga had done a great job of caricaturing herself, I had to go do something extra to exaggerate her hairstyle, and so I thought of the spiders and the cobwebs. Whenever Lady Gaga discards a wig, the space on the wig is auctioned away to the spiders that want to move in to this “premium” location!

Well…
So in came the spiders and their webs, and of course the decorations added by the property dealers along with the prize car!

And Ms. Gaga was decked up and ready to give the other singers a run for their money!

And yes, if you want to learn how to draw caricatures, you should check out “How to Draw Caricatures – And Evolution of a Caricaturist.”

Before I wave goodbye, here’s an interesting bit about her current hit “Bad Romance”.

The Theme of Bad Romance by Lady Gaga – A Verbal Caricature:

Bad Romance is a bad-bad song that begins with the abduction of Lady Gaga by some super-models. These super-models, who probably are about to slide into middle age and hence into oblivion, dream up a new way to make money. They kidnap Lady Gaga, bathe her in a white bathtub, and then in her inebriated condition attempt to auction her off to the Russian Mafia. (Note the Russian connection in all such deals, and also note the marked absence of the Italian Mafia from this whole show.)

While the Russian men sit around with their electronic bidding machines, Lady Gaga seductively walks towards them and then selects the one with a golden chin guard (guess he wore it because he expected Lady Gaga to slap him) to do a provocative lap-dance for him. Now this all is hogwash, because after he becomes the highest bidder, she roasts him alive by activating her pyrotechnic bra. The point to be noted here is the Lady Gaga remains unscathed…and probably vanishes with the auction money, and shares the booty with the models who had kidnapped her…because it was all staged!

But that part wasn’t there in the video that I watched, and so I believe that the video was edited!  If anyone has access to the unedited video of the song Bad Romance , please let me know, because I am dying to hear the end of the story.

BTW, I wonder if the Russian Men would have bid at all if she had worn her meat dress to the auction?
(Lady Gaga’s Meat Dress.)

Caricature/Cartoon – Bald Man Smiling – A Polymer Clay Sculpture!

99.9% Artists don’t eat…from doing art! I am one among the 99.9%! Drawing is a skill that’s as useless as the skill of scratching your own back – It isn’t easy, it twists you all out of shape, it’s also extremely gratifying; but you can’t earn by scratching your back!

So what does an artist (specifically this one) do? She tries out other options.

Remember she turned a writer recently? No? Well…that tells us something – doesn’t it?!

Obviously then, something else had to be tried – and so she turned a caricaturist sculptoress (sculptor/sculptoress?! Dictionary writers must all be men – they didn’t bother! Artist/Artistress?! See what I mean – Woman artists are twice as unwanted as their fellow male counterparts!)

So here’s my second effort at creating clay sculptures (and don’t ask me to show you my first…it was a disaster!)

3d caricature cartoon clay sculpture (wall plaque) of a smiling bald man with moustache and beard.

I am bald and bearded, and I have a handlebar mustache...it must make me look funny...but who cares! Check out my smile, because that's what's really important!

A Thank You Note to my Teacher:) Nancy Johanson (Dewey Dewster‘s Gram), who makes beautiful clay doggies, and whose creations inspired me to try out clay modeling.

Dear Nancy,

Thank you for inspiring me and telling me all about clay modeling. It’s fun though it’s different:) I think I’d stick to modeling caricatures in clay for some time…they are simpler for me to handle:) This afternoon I used the second box of clay to create this wall-plaque. It’s tiny. About 2.5 inches by 1.25 inches. I made a wall-plaque of it by adding a clay-loop behind it, and right now it’s hanging on my soft-board, with a push-pin!

That’s all for now:) See you soon with some new caricatures!

Parody and Make fun of Everything as the Universe is a Caricature!

I’ll be back from my Space Odyssey sometime tonight…and then I’ll return to full-time blogging.

But I’m beginning to experience the symptoms of blog-sickness – a sort of aimlessness, a need to find a computer with an Internet connection, and a restlessness that can best be described as mercurial!

And so, here’s a PostIt note:)

You can parody and make fun of almost anything, but that does not turn the universe into a caricature.

– Bernard Berenson, An American Art Critic, who now critically examines art from the heavens.

My thoughts:

Mr. Berenson, thank you for your kind directions. I will try to parody and make fun of “almost everything” – because the universe is indeed a caricature of what it should’ve been. We, the ever-growing, amorphous, tumorous mass of humanity have already transformed ourselves into a caricature with little help from me or any other caricaturist. Now all that can be done is to  “parody and make fun” of it…until we can. We are all rushing downhill, trying to escape the monster that we created and that we now cannot outrun! So the best we can do is – realize that the world has indeed become a caricature and laugh at it…before we are overcome!

Let us fool ourselves all we can, and for as long as we can – but the fact remains…we have pressed the button – and we are on self-destruct…with no option to abort!

Announcement – Blog Carnival for Bloggers – Tell the Story-in-the-Caricature – September 2010 – Edition 4!

Story in the Caricature Blog Carnival Header for Edition 4 - September 2010

Dear Readers,

I am pleased to announce the fourth Story-in-the-Caricature blog carnival.

Here’s the caricature, which I hope will inspire you to write a story.

Story in the Caricature Blog Carnival Edition 4 - September 2010

Who's sh(e)? What's sh(e) doing?

So…

What is a Story?

A story is:

“a piece of fiction that narrates a chain of related events”

What’s your story? What’s the “chain of related events” that jangles in your mind when you see the picture above.

The Four Simple Rules for Participating:

1. Write a story, small or big, about this caricature (There’s no upper limit – you are welcome to write a thesis if you please:))

2. Publish the story on your blog, along with this caricature (A link to this blog would be appreciated, but it isn’t necessary.)

3. Leave the link to your post, as a comment to this post here.

4. The festival ends at the midnight of September 30, 2010 (Tuesday.)

The Three Rewards for this Story Carnival:

1. All the story links added until the last date, will be published on this blog on October 1, 2010, along with the blog-address and a link to the About Page of your blog.

2. The blog addresses of the participating bloggers will find way into my “The Storytellers” blogroll.

3. We will also request all the story-writers to publish the links of other story-writers in a blog-post on their respective blogs. This will help the story writers find more readers – but of course, this would be voluntary.

An Important Note:

This blog has zero tolerance for pornography and abusive language and so any comment/story containing such material will automatically disqualify from the Carnival.

Are you a Storyteller?

The best way to find out is – tell a story! I believe we all are storytellers…we all know how to present something very simple and mundane, in an interesting way – Honestly, that’s all there is to storytelling – so fire a print of the caricature above, stow it away in your bag or briefcase, and write a story to discover a new, creative you.

Read the stories and connect with the authors of the previous Tell the Story in the Caricature Blog Carnivals here!

Caricature/Cartoon – British Prime Minister David Cameron

Presenting…

David Cameron,  the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom!

(No. Not James Cameron…and yes, there are many differences between the two Camerons!)

The Caricature, Cartoon, Portrait, Sketch of the British Prime Minister - David Cameron - The Leader of the Conservative Party and the Prime Minister of the United States!

David Cameron - The Prime Minister of United Kingdom!

David Cameron’s Shortest Biography on the Web:

(Sometimes I wonder what I rest this claim upon – but never mind for it doesn’t matter!)

According to dear Wikipedia, my primary resource for matters of all kinds juicy and dry (read Entertainment and Politics, respectively), David Cameron was born in 1966 (yes, he doesn’t fit the stereotypical politician’s mold with a stoop and wrinkles,) after 4 years of his parents getting married. For the British, ancestry and titles are often more important than the man himself, and Cameron doesn’t fall short of either. You can read more about David Cameron’s ancestry here, but for now it would suffice to say that he’s got a touch of the royal blood in his veins as he has descended from King William IV, who at time time of his death had no legitimate children.

I couldn’t find a lot of colorful details about Cameron’s education or career, so let me fly past all those years that he spent polishing himself, joining the Conservative Party, and land in the year 2000 when he was selected as a prospective candidate for Witney. As a Member of the Parliament, Cameron meticulously attempted to associate himself with anything that was controversial – for example Ecstasy, the drug with some colorful effects, and Gurbux Singh,  a Mona Sikh (A Sikh with his beard sheared off!). His journey to prime-minister-ship began in 2005. The end of his journey presented the UK with their youngest prime minister in 200 years, whose inexperience and youth became the subject of satire and cynicism.

Dave, David, and Tony:

David Cameron has often been likened to Tony Blair in his early years of leadership. And though Cameron doesn’t like to be called Dave – he often is, especially by his critics…”Call Me Dave” drafted on the lines of “Call me Tony”.

David Cameron – Views, Interests, and other Tid-bits:

  • Prime Minister Cameron refers to himself as a modern compassionate conservative.
  • He wants teaching to be “elevated through more stringent criteria for selecting the teachers.”
  • When criticised for using drugs for recreational purposes he said that everyone was allowed to “err and stray.”
  • He loves to cycle to work – unfortunately, he keeps losing his bicycle to unscrupulous star-struck bike-robbers.

David Cameron’s Personal Life:

Cameron is married to Samantha Sheffield, who belongs to an equally wealthy family. He has two daughters and one son.  He lost his first son to Ohtahara syndrome.

David Cameron Quotes:

  • You’re an analogue politician in a digital age <<To Gordon Brown>>
  • we are all human and we err and stray.
  • I want to be the voice of change and hope. I want to confront the big challenges this country faces.
  • We’re in a very different era now. The style then was right for then, and a new style is needed for now.

Cool Caricaturist – Roman Genn

Caricaturist and Political Cartoonist Roman Genn was born in Moscow, in 1972. Moscow wasn’t sympathetic to his anti-government caricatures, and so he was repeatedly arrested while there. This was probably one of the main reasons behind his move to the US, where his work has appeared in  Wall Street JournalWashington Post, Newsweek, and many other publications of note.

Roman Genn’s sense of humor is something to emulate.  Read Roman Genn’s biography to sample his sense of humor.

Visit his website:

And view some of his fascinating caricatures:

He raised quite a storm when he depicted Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Al gore in a Caricature titled “The Manchurian Candidates,” which appeared on the cover of National Review.

Click here to view Roman Genn’s “The Manchurian Candidates“.

To appreciate why this caricature kicked up a storm, you need to watch the Denzel Washington Starrer 2004 Film  “The Manchurian Candidate” and understand “what” Raymond Shaw is! There was an earlier 1962 film by the same name and with the same storyline – based on the novel “The Manchurian Candidate” that Richard Condon wrote in 1959!

So you think you can Draw?!

Fantastic!

Everyone can draw. I can draw, you can draw, they can draw, we can draw, my neighbor’s daughter can draw, and your neighbor’s dog can draw!

Drawing is no more complex than removing that little fiber of chicken that gets stuck between your teeth, or scratching your back with a fishbone. Drawing is easy. You need to find something that puts a mark on something else that you can find – and you can draw.

So now – the question is – can you draw?

Of course you can.  The technical definition of the term “Draw” is: “make a mark or lines on a surface”! Can you do it? Of course you can! Now…say it, “Yes, I Can!” (If that reminds you of some slogan that you heard about two years ago, I should plead coincidentality…if there’s a word like that!)

The point that I am trying to make here is – you can draw – the question that you should be asking yourself is…what is it that I should draw?

There’s stuff that anyone can draw, and there’s stuff that needs some focused practice.

The stuff that anyone who can “make a mark or lines on a surface” can create is called “abstract art.” You’ve got to work on your ability to “surprise or shock” people – and if your idea “clicks” you could be selling canvases with blotches of paint that just happened!

The other stuff that needs focused practice could be:

It could be anything that requires that you draw a line, a curve, a circle…anything with a purpose. This would require practice – this would also require focus.

Just the way writers who’d write anything and expect people to understand it (or not), but who hope to sell (and sometimes do sell) their books thinking that readers are foolish and that they’d be able to fool them by saying that their stuff is for the “intellectuals” – there are also artists who’d draw anything and hope to sell (and sometimes they do sell) their art to the “connoisseurs of art.”

I prefer to be an artist with a purpose – and I prefer to draw something that’s understood by everyone – because everyone has the right to be delighted by art. Art shouldn’t exist for those few who sit at the far right of the IQ bell-curve – it should exist for everyone. I would draw portraits, caricatures, cartoons, compositions, scenes, mountains, rivers – but I would draw them in a way to ensure that whoever looks at them connects with them not in an “abstract” way – but in a very real, transparent, and emotional way…through my skill of drawing.

I prefer and hope (though without a right) that if you are young and if you can draw, you’d create art for everyone too. Draw to bring a smile to your own face and to the faces of others. Don’t get caught into the specialization-racket! Draw whatever catches your fancy. Let your art flow, but let it not become idiotic; don’t let it become a senseless orgy of colors and lines – let it speak to everyone, let it establish a personal connection with anyone who looks at it.

So, if you think you can draw…

DRAW!

and…

DRAW TO SMILE 🙂

August 2010 Blog Carnival – Thanks to the Participating Authors!

The Story in the Caricature Blog Carnival for Bloggers, Storytellers, and All of us!

My Dear Readers and Visitors,
The August Blog Carnival brought in many wonderful stories:) This is the caricature that inspired the writers.

The Story in the Caricature Blog Carnival for Bloggers, Storytellers, and All of us!

What's his Story?

DEAR WRITERS, THANK YOU FOR WRITING THESE WONDERFUL STORIES! MAY YOU FIND MILLIONS OF READERS IN THE YEARS TO COME!

Writers and Storytellers who Participated in the August Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival:

Stories Written by the Authors:

Welcome to my “Storytellers” Blogroll!

A Request to Readers:

I request all my readers to read these wonderful stories:)

A Request to the Writers:

I also request the writers to add the links for the stories of the other participants below their own stories. All you’d need to do is copy and paste the second list at the end of your own stories:) It will help all the writers find more readers.

While I DRAW to SMILE…go ahead and WRITE to SMILE!
Warm Regards,
Shafali

Beyond My Window – A Story by Ian Holliday!

Beyond My Window

A Story by Ian Holliday

Man in Jail

Why am I here? You come and peer through the window at me and tell stories about me – and you do not know the reason? Do you not talk to each other? No, I suppose you don’t, or you might have realised.

Maybe I should tell you but I am unsure what would happen; although telling you might be part of what it’s all about and the chances of my answering must have been in the contingency plans. So, I will relate what I remember. But don’t treat it as “true” in any way, maybe I have been primed to tell you a lie.

I have been here for so many years I am unsure that I can recall the events clearly. Some things I do recall. I know it was a major occasion, an event which culminated from much discussion and planning among the Council members. There was an air of anxiety and heated talk; as though that which we relied upon was threatened.  How can I help you to understand?

Think about what you do. Are the stories you tell about me, and others like me, original, really original? Are there any genuine storymakers left in your world? I think I see them sometimes, peering through that window and a worthwhile number seem to have the spark.

This is what I know and, as I said, it may be incomplete.

Imagine it, many millennia before your time, people used to ask themselves questions, or maybe the curiosity of their children raised those questions. So they made up stories to push the fears away, they found a way to make sense of their world. They looked around, they used their personal experience; they drew on the traditions of their kin and on everyday events, and they made up tales to fit the facts, tales that gave them a compass to find their way in a mysterious world. And, of course, small in number as they were, and separated by geographical boundaries, each group had its own stories and, in their way, each story worked for a time, until a new story took its place.

Some few hundred years ago, something happened. From our perspective, it suddenly appeared that the number of new stories began to decline. The same stories quickly began to appear in different places, widely separated.  And this process accelerated, until it seemed like people in one place could hear the story at the same time all over the world.  But the stories were no longer “home-grown”; the story of one people was being told to another regardless of their circumstances, or their culture, values, history or the beliefs that had kept their various societies working.  And so, people began to fight for their stories, fight to impose their tales on others.

Think about it. You make up a new story to fit where you live and the people and institutions you know. It has to do that, or it would be too unbelievable for your children. But your story is not a good fit for those who live elsewhere. They naturally challenge your story but you cannot see why, it makes perfect sense for you, they must be wrong! So you argue and you make war. Because, for others, it is your story that is fantastic and unbelievable and, maybe for a good reason (or so they believe) they also want to enlighten you, to save you from error. And so, it goes on.

Ultimately, of course, one set of stories began to win. Thus, many were forced to live in the tales of the powerful.   For those who were ruled, the stories were badly made or badly told, they offered no guidance; they explained little or nothing.  Time passed and, as the story-telling (note my careful use of that word, not the story—making) apparatus was in the hands of the powerful, their stories became the only ones that were told. Although, at first, the ruled knew why the stories were wrong, in the end nobody knew. They just felt a loss, a disconnection with their world.

And that is why I am here and why there are many who fulfil the same role. After much debate, the Council asked for some to come forward to take up a place, to engage in a form of theatre, to be here when people of your time are looking to be storymakers rather than storytellers.  You see, Time does not exist in the mind of the true storymakers and, as they dream, they can reach us, can see us and wonder how we came to be where we are.  And they make up tales, tales which are not those of the powerful, those with interests vested in keeping things as they are, tales which are rebellious, that increase the possibilities in their listeners lives –  instead of narrowing their opportunities for striking out, changing things – being original; being themselves , not what the stories they usually hear, tell them to be.

For we realised that hearing the same bad story will not save your world (and, of course) ours from being the cause of its slow dis-ease and failure. Only in new stories lie the places where even more new ideas can arise. Only there can a thought be sown and nurtured which might save us all from extinction.

But me, others like me and I think even the Council, did not realise that once we were created, we had to stay. The new, saving stories, have to be told and retold, or they will die out and fail in their task of generating alternatives.  It’s not so bad really. When you are not around, I get to eat well and have company. But I must always be ready, in case you appear at the window.  Hasn’t anybody seen me brush the crumbs under my robe? Did you not see, this time, the gate swing to as my partner left the room in panic? And, in the end, I think it is worth it, even though, immortal as I have been made, this is me -forever.

A Story by Ian Holliday (Copyright 2010 Ian Holliday)

(Visit Ian’s Blog here.)