kiskiKAHANI (the Ramayana Project)

300 Ramayanas and Counting . . .
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Itna bada rakshas I

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Date(s) - 8 Jun 2012 until 10 Jun 2012
4:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Open Space

How do we tell the story of the other? How do we represent the characters we so rarely hear about?

Join us for a writing workshop, Itna Bada Rakshas with Annie Zaidi.

Annie Zaidi will conduct an intensive writing workshop at Open Space. Annie will lead the group through a series of writing exercises using the Ramayana as a starting point to kick start the discussion.

Annie Zaidi wrote Known Turf: Bantering with Bandits and Other True Tales in 2010. Some poems have appeared in The Little Magazine, Desilit, First Proof: 2, Pratilipi, Indian Literature (Sahitya Akademi) and Mint. Her first play Name, Place, Animal, Thing was short-listed for The Hindu MetroPlus Playwright Award, 2009. She has been a journalist for a decade and has written for several newspapers and magazines including Frontline, Tehelka, Mid-Day and Deccan Herald.

The workshop is open for those 18 years and above. With limited seats we ask you to register early!

Date: June 8th – 10th (The workshop will be held in the evenings between 4 – 8 pm)

Fees: Rs 900 (Student discounts are available)

For more information on the workshop please get in touch with us at:

Tel. No: 020-25457371

Email us:

Register at Open Space, B-301, Kanchanjunga building, Kanchan Lane, Off Law College Rd, (Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm)


Tentative Schedule:

June 8, Friday 4-8 pm


-          Remembering the Ramayana/Discovering the Others

-          Identifying the strands that hold up the mask of Otherness

-          Listening for the Others’ Silences

-          Choosing Your Silence

The first day will get participants started on thinking about the text of the Ramayana as it has been told them, about the various interpretations and versions. Each one will pick her/his particular character to re-imagine and work with.


June 9, Saturday 4-8 pm

Participants choose their form (poetry or short fiction, genres etc) and treatment style.

-          Participants discuss their character, context, possible motivations, and relationships with other characters in the Ramayana.

-          Workshop leader offers a short writing exercise to kick start the writing/imaginative process.

-          Participants draw up an outline of the story they are trying to tell.

On the second day, they go home and write the story/poem. Even if it is too long, they must bring in at least one part of it to the workshop on Sunday.


June 10, Sunday 4-8 pm

Participants share their first drafts, or partial drafts, along with thoughts on where they intend to take the story.

-          Workshop leader and the group resolve creative difficulties, if any.

-          The group discusses how effective the writing has been in humanizing the Other, or un-demonizing the character.

-          Participants can ask questions, seek further exercises if they need to, or finish their drafts.


By the end of the workshop, participants should have at least a work-in-progress. They might edit it or re-draft it and send it back for feedback via email.