In an ocean of information, countless artistic writings float in an anticipation to find their desired Island of opportunities. Such is the reasoning behind the initiative #TellMeYourStory, a storytelling platform that invites people, irrespective of their fields, age or any such distinction, to share their work, whether fiction or non-fiction. The prominent name behind such an initiative is a woman – Koral Dasgupta is an author of two books – Fall Winter Collection, published by Niyogi Books and Power of a Common Man.

On being asked, Dasgupta has her vision of the initiative clear.  “A lot of people have a lot of stories to share, stories that come from the regular life, and since most of them are not heavy enough for a novel, they often get lost for never being spoken out. This platform gives a voice and an audience to these stories,” shared Koral Dasgupta with Niyogi Books.

The other part of her vision describes how our language compatibility has suffered immensely under the influence of social media, distancing us from getting into the pleasure of reading and increasingly defining the purpose of reading as a mere gathering of information. She aims to bring back the habit of reading with this platform.

There’s no denying that numerous read-and-share online attempts have been made before, the success of which have been moderate, yet, does this platform stand discreetly from them in any way? Koral Dasgupta shares that the purpose of this platform does not solely restrict itself to sharing  people’s work, but that their team attempts to enhance the writings by putting in their editorial input, without charging the writers and that the writers are asked to rewrite their work again and again until they reach a desired level.

Going through the works, one finds a publishing perfection in some of them. When asked if the initiative has plans for publishing the best of the works as a book, Dasgupta replied in affirmative. “Certainly we do. It’s just that right now we are collecting the content, and, for that matter, already have 330 plus writers and around 450 submissions. I want to have enough content before reaching out to the publishers.”

The thumbnails of the links to the stories on website show the portraits of writers, something about which Dasgupta has a strong reasoning. She believes that prioritizing a writer’s face along with the story ‘would give an author a branding’, and that such a step is consciously taken for as one might forget the name of the writer after reading his work, his picture might serve justice to his credit.

Recalling her days as a kid when she would write her thoughts, stories and things that would then affect her behind her copies, with a hope that her teachers would not see them, she wishes she had such a platform back then so that those works would have been documented. #TellMeYourStory is an extended hand towards reaching out to such stories casually written and then mostly forgotten in those endless diaries, the documentation of which can help their writers look back on them after years and see the change over the years, both, in their thinking and writing.

#TellMeYourStory is the result of an author’s vision to establish a platform for not just the aspiring English writers, but also aims to reach out to the underprivileged people with not enough education to express themselves literally, as well as to the foreign literature. The initiative emphasizes on documenting the works that otherwise never find their deserving audience.

Justifying its name, #TellMeYourStory primarily concerns over having the story told by a person, irrespective of the medium, and hence the initiative aims to include the foreign literature as well as the underprivileged people not having enough education to express themselves literary. The site has had a foreign entry already, where an Iraqi poem was translated to English by the team and then published.

In a nation that has seen an exponential rise in English readership in the past decade, and hence a parallel rise in the urge to express through writing, the initiative seems to have been knocking at the right time and on the right doors of all those who ever felt a void in what follows after one finishes writing his work, however small it then may be. Having a vision further extended to an audience that exists outside the walls of exclusive expressers of English is what stands the initiative a step ahead of what had been attempted before.

Link to her website: https://tellmeyourstory.in/mentors/koral-dasgupta/

This article belongs to Lakshay Raja, who is an avid reader and enjoys both forms of writing equally -fiction and non-fiction. Lakshay is a student of Journalism and Mass communication and aspires to be an established fiction writer someday.