We are back with one more creative mom and her story. Introducing Prakrati Agrawal, a corporate girl who is a Certified storyteller now. She took a plunge some time back and is following her passion now. Let’s get to know her more through this interview.
Certified Storyteller
What’s your background? 
I was born and brought up in the City of Lakes, Bhopal. I did my Computer Science engineering from Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Pune and then worked in CRL, a sister company of TATA as Computational Scientist. After that, I moved to Bangalore to Mu Sigma as my future husband was in Bangalore. I worked for a while at Siemens and finally joined Shell as a Computational Software Specialist. My field was very niche and not many people get to work on supercomputers and optimise codes to predict and find oil fields quickly. 
What was the main reason for quitting your professional career and do you ever regret your decision? 
The main reason for quitting my research career was my inherent passion for children and education. Even while working in corporate companies, I used to take tuitions at home, conduct Spell Bees, storytelling sessions, plays, treasure hunts in my society and that served as my stress buster. Slowly I convinced my family that this was my true calling. I left my job and did a Montessori course from Kiddo. I started organising birthday party games and made DIY activity kits and conducted activities for children. Along with all this, I also began to conduct storytelling sessions at home followed by a craft activity. And then I conceived and I was on bed rest. I took a break from conducting activities for one year but I kept searching for ideas on google for what I could do when I am back in the field.
 I don’t regret my decision because I really enjoy this work. But the returns in this field take time and sometimes when you get very less response even after putting your heart and soul into it, you feel demotivated. My husband here has played a crucial role. He would always support me saying you did not do this for money and would not let me give up.
You are a certified storyteller. Tell us more about how the idea came up? What were the key factors for starting something like this? 
 Stories have always been a part and parcel of my life. I loved listening to stories since my childhood. My mother used to tell me mythological stories, my father used to read stories from Champak, Nandan, and Baalhans. Since I was in grade 1st, I started reading stories on my own and was a voracious reader. When I grew up, it did not end but increased manifolds because now I had money of my own to spend on books.
I loved sharing the stories I read to whoever would listen to me and everyone would say that I had the knack of making them see my story. I could see that in the current scenario, parents busy with their jobs find little time to engage their children in storytime, and our children may lose the values we grew up with. That is when I thought I would become a storyteller.
The key factors I would say is first your own interest to read and tell stories, your love for the audience. For storytelling, your audience can vary from little children, to not so little ones, to adults and the elderly. There are lots of storytellers out there who are kind enough to share their videos and tips for free on youtube and their websites. Richard Martin, Rituparna Ghosh, Janaki Sabesh, Amin Haque from Storywallahs and Rohini Vij, to name a few. I am eternally thankful to all of them to give me ideas, inspiring me, motivating me to do better and better.
Certified storyteller
How can one become a certified storyteller? Please share it with other women who want to pursue this field. 
There are two storytelling courses available in India, one is Kathalaya which is a 2-day face to face course where you get to meet the veteran storyteller Geeta Ramanujam, see her live in action, and learn the basics of storytelling. It is a good place to build a network and get the initial start. In fact, I found one more crazy lady like me who believed in sharing Panchatantra and mythological tales to children called Nandita. I have recently started online storytelling sessions with her to entertain children during the COVID19 lockdown.
There is one more course by Eric Miller who has a storytelling institute which is in my bucket list too. It is online and is for a longer duration with lots of video assignments and interesting activities. These can help you to be a certified storyteller.
Certified storyteller
What is your favourite part of all the work you do and why?
The favourite part I think is the changing expressions of children’s faces when they are listening to my stories. Also, the way they ask me to do it again and again and their laughter. I think their happiness is what keeps me going. 
What is your inspiration or where do you get inspiration for all the work you do? 
I think I was very fortunate to have a mother who believed in me no matter what, my friends who would always say you are unique and can make a change, my husband who always supported me and said follow your dream and my little angel who would let me conduct my sessions sharing his precious mama with others.
A most important tip for other mompreneurs or moms who want to follow their passion but are skeptical. 
I have still not made it so big so as to share any tips, but yes, I can tell you how I decided. I was into a very lucrative job, what I realised was I not enjoying it a lot and it stressed me too much. My husband was in a position to support our family financially even if I didn’t earn for some time. And I made a list of lots and lots of options that I could do in case one thing didn’t work.
 What is your vision? Share any future plans you have. 
My vision is to bring Panchatantra, Jataka, and other folk and mythological tales to children to imbibe human values in them. Stories live in us and there is a storyteller in all of us. I also want to integrate stories in all the lessons and subjects in school.
I want to train teachers to spin stories around their subjects, and prepare our children to have the imagination and creativity to weave stories to remember their concepts for a lifetime!

Thanks, Prakrati for taking out time to share your story. Hope you found this interview of the certified storyteller inspiring.

You can check her work –

Read about previously featured creative moms here- MonikaShivaSomaRitika,  Sudha, Rina, Shipra, AnujaPreethi, Surbhi, Debjani , Megha  Sushma Shilpi Anupriya Anupama and Charu to get inspired.