Posted by: storypilgrim | February 14, 2010

Jan. 26, 2010- Stories & Samosas

26.01.10 Stories & Samosas

This is my first installment of what will (hopefully, if I remember to) be a monthly personal reflection on each of our monthly storytelling clubs. The first is our January 26, 2010 club entitled Stories & Samosas.

Our carload of intrepid storytellers stepped out into the night and quickly out of the chilly January air and into the Indian restaurant, a warm smell of spice greeted us as we unburdened ourselves of our outdoor attire. As we entered the dining room the night sky twinkled above us ,stars of LED lights, in a purple sky, the painted ceiling, and we headed for our table. The exotic location of this evenings event was in Cupar, Fife in the Armaan restaurant and the guests had begun to arrive, and a lot of them there were! I was quite surprised, from our usual informal group of storytellers we were now holding a feast of stories for a crowd. The Blether group had done this before a year ago but I was unable to make it so this was all new to me.

It took me few minutes to get my bearings amid the bustle of hellos and how are yous and trying to collect tickets and before I settled I was called up to tell a story by our lovely hostess Senga. “Gosh, its warm in here!” I thought, and then, “what was the story I was going to tell?” It unravelled in my mind as I fumbled through the first few sentences and eventually got into a flow as the story was coming to an end. It was a Bengali tale, chosen as the first because I promised it would include a samosa, called ‘Half Hungry’ about a character who can never satisfy his hungry and the times he tries he is thwarted, first by slipping on a samosa and being rendered unconscious. After the story I sat down and began to feel like I had arrived. We were then transported back to Bengali, which didn’t take too much imagination with the smells (my belly rumbled) and the warmth around us, by Sheila who told us of a meeting of two men one of whom would not say, “Good Morning,” until the other had done something for a king, and so he did… by finding out that a princess would not marry because she was wronged by a man in a previous incarnation as a bird. Sylvia brought us to Bangladesh again with a tale of a Brahmin who made the mistake of letting a tiger out of his cage and nearly lost his life in the folly, but fortunately the wily ways of the jackal saved him in the end. Rachel told us how a samosa can get a cook thrown in a dungeon and how the enchanted contents of a samosa found him liberty in the end. Claire Hewitt had made it to our club again, it is always wonderful (& wonder-filled) to have her join us, she brought us on one of her journeys to India and to a story about a quail who saves a forest and the Bodhi tree from being consumed in a raging fire simply with the water it could hold in its beak, and a little help from the gods. Before the first break in the flow of stories Robbie told us a tale in which a man smashes everything in the house so that his wife can’t sell the milk from the cow that they don’t have, happens every day… I was becoming distracted by this point, the aroma of food was causing my head to swirl and then the food arrived. Hmmm… I stared down at the vibrant coloured comestibles on my plate, I had never thought of requesting vegetarian. I enquired of the waiter what is veggie and what is not, he was able to assure me that the hash brown was definitely vegetarian. After a bit of inspection my friend Gordon (veggie too) and I were able to discern the plant-based fare from the meat-based. I traded my spring roll with James for his hash brown. The food was very good, with a spicy sauce, but did not quite fill me up, where are the samosas we wondered… James wished he had ordered a curry. But no more time for food when there are stories to be told.

The second half began with Lindsey and one of her famous story-stormings: an improvised tale helped on by the audience. She took us on a long submarine journey with Shiva (in has aspect as destroyer), a baby elephant without a trunk, a mouse and Raymond the nutshell; all characters suggested by the ever imaginative collaborators. The journey began once the elephant managed to get into the sub and then a comedy of claustrophobia ensued which culminated in a game of twister and a Bollywood movie… I imagine you get the picture?… Our other distinguished guest this evening was Andy Hunter who added to the Eastern flavour with a Chinese tale about a horse that is freed by a farmer to avoid conflict only to return with another horse which, in its turn, saves the farmer’s son from losing his life in conflict.

Tea & coffee were served and biscuits, my friend’s and I gobbled down all the biscuits with in reach as the night wound down with laughter and chatter from the crowd. All in all we went away feeling quite satisfied with the evening. Though I am still getting demands, a week later, from my friend for his samosas, I promised him I have some in my pocket for next time I see him.

Owen Pilgrim


  1. well done owen!!!!

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