With over 30 audiobooks under my belt, I record from my LA based home studio. My naturally unplaceable accent (a mix of Indian, American and British) has served me well when the authors want a more global sound for narration. Of course, I can whip out the Indian accent as quick as Wonder Woman does her Lasso but only to capture the listeners’ imagination.
My father was my first audiobook. When I was a little girl, my sister and I would tuck ourselves in thick blankets in the cold-cold Delhi winters and gleefully look at our father, who would tell us stories he knew by heart. His eyes would grow bigger, his hands would start painting the pictures in the air as he told us stories of simpletons who outwitted the smart people, or a little girl who outsmarts all the dangerous animals on her way to see her grandmother. His joy in telling those stories of adventures and adventurers inspired us to imagine worlds we hadn’t dreamed of before.
My mother never told us stories. She was a working mother who packed us lunches in the morning and made us dinner after coming home from work; made sure my sister and I did our homework, as she washed clothes by hand. When she found the time, she’d play badminton with or skip jump-rope with us. So, in a way she did tell us stories. Only in her case, her actions told the story of working hard, caring for one’s family and finding joy in the smallest of pleasures life has to offer.
I didn’t know then what a gift my parents imparted to me; each in their own way. When my son cries for “one more last” story before going to bed and I have to tell him “no”, my heart skips a beat. I wish he didn’t have school in the morning. I wish we could tell each other stories all night; fictional ones and the ones that lie in our hearts. But I’m reminded, stories are as much in words as in actions. So, sleep we must in order that we may wake up tomorrow and tell, create and share more stories from our hearts.
MFA Acting, University of Texas at Austin
MA Theatre Studies, National University of Singapore
BA English Literature, Delhi University