Audio Stories are the newest version of storytelling. There was a time when people loved to be engrossed, avid readers spending time reading famous books, stories. As time kept progressing lifestyle changed, people become busy day by day. Free time is something that is lacking among art lovers. Bengali is one such language that is a sea of the treasure house of literary treasure. Whether it is suspense stories, horror stories, romantic novels, crime novels anything Bengali language is an unexplored ocean where the pearls are deeply submerged in the perils. And even in today’s modern era people love exploring them, nurturing them.

Taking an example of Sunday Suspense it is a radio drama which airs on 98.3 FM Kolkata. The stories are performed by legendary voice artist Mir Afsar Ali who also happens to be an actor in the Bengali industry. Apart from him, there are Mirchi Somak, Mirchi Agni, Mirchi Ayantika all of which are popular voice-over artists. Sunday Suspense has taken Bengali audio story to a next level the impact is not only magical but the atmosphere created in each and every audio story is relinquishing. The aura of a supernatural spell is felt only once a listener puts his/her headphones on. Sunday Suspense is no FM show it is an emotion. This channel has produced legendary stories across time. The list of most famous audiobooks from Sunday suspense are:

  1. Beeshkanya by Sharadindu Bandopadhay
  2. Chader Pahar by Bhibhutibhusan
  3. Chuachandan by Sharadindu Bandapadhay
  4. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Author Conan Doyle

Now, this impact of Sunday Suspense has given birth to a new form of art and the rise of a new class of artists across the Bengali community. The voice artists. History often depicts a fact once a new power rises to its zenith it creates a ray of inspiration among other art lovers who try to walk in that path and create a legend. Many youths as well as tenured, matured art lovers dived deep into the never-ending sea of Audio stories. The origin of inspiration somehow remains to be same that is Sunday Suspense. The basic pillar of a successful audio story lies in 2 major parts:

  1. STORY

Following the footsteps, many Bengali creators started off their artistic, creative journey in this world of audio story creation. Take a few examples of a YouTube channel GOLPO KOTHA founded by AYAN a state govt employee by profession he is a core admin member of a Facebook group BHUTANESHI a Bengali literacy group where budding, upcoming Bengali horror story writer create their creations. This YouTube audio story channel has created over 107 audio stories and currently has a subscriber base of 58 000 plus YouTube subscribers. The uniqueness of this audio story channel is that it truly believes in method acting. Now throwing some light on this in traditional acting an actor has the option to express himself via 3 modes.

  • Facial Expression of acting.
  • Body language and movement.
  • Voice expression or Voice over.

In audio stories, a voice artist has only one option that is his voice tone.

To become a successful voice-over artist not only a great voice will do the magic. That is of course a basic requirement. What is more important is how a particular situation is expressed in dialogue. The voice artist needs to feel that situation of the dialogue he is playing the role literally. Then only that feeling will come out. If you are scared suddenly the reaction you give think and feel it. 2-3 lines of any dialogue of any audio story of golpo Kotha channel any listener can actually feel the situation, it is impossible to figure out this is acting. That is the difference between a small start-up audio story channel and a successful audio story channel created. In GOLPO KOTHA the situation is literally felt. 2nd pillar of success is the adaptability of the story. An audio story BROMHOSAP (curse of the Brahmin) written by upcoming writer Ankita Sarkar this audio story did phenomenal success on youtube crossing 1 lakh plus views. The story was written by Ankita Sarkar who is an upcoming Aspiring writer of Bengali. She has written 3-4 books of her own and is a co-author in numerous books. Recently she won the most prestigious Pratilipi Award 2021 one of the most influential writers in Bengali for one of her novels. By profession, she is an IT engineer. By passion, she is a writer. Now here is the secret of success. A great storyline plus brilliant voice-over with a mixture of superb sound effects, that is the recipe of magic, and people with headphones on love magic. The formula of success in Bengali audio stories is very simple yet hard to apply is the artist has 3-4 lines of dialogue, it is just how he/she presents it, delivers it with expression and feeling. Rest is done with sound engineering, use of technology, and in some cases studio. GOLPO KOTHA recordings are done in AYAN s studio. So obviously the impact of sound is tremendous.

Taking an example of another upcoming channel this channel literally started from scratch with 0 funding but an extreme passion. OBAKTO AUDIO stories founded by Ramakanta MCA pass out wannabe IT professional but passionate about sound engineering started this audio story channel. This channel has got no studio setup unlike established YouTube channels but it is literally giving competition to established YouTube channels in terms of sound quality work. The USP of this channel is on the pillar sound effect is the one and only out-of-the-box advantage that differentiates you from the rest. Some of the famous works of this channel are, “BHOG TRISHNA”, “NEELKANTHER RUDRAKSHA". Ramakanta himself is a regular voice-over artist in many established youtube channels. His formula of success is simple as possible he gets himself associated with famous audio story channels. In that way, he is getting his exposure and at the same time, he is promoting his own channel. One role he himself innovated is playing the character voiceover of an aged villager. Just using a biscuit chewing technique and while doing that he recorded his own voice. The dialogue looked absolutely natural. This is what innovation is.

The audio story community is itself a world in its own way. It inspires upcoming writers to create, write new stories. On the other hand, it inspires voice-over artists who create magic by dialogue delivery narration. In an audio story, there are 3 parts, Intro, Narration, and character-wise dialogue delivery. Situation-wise, character-wise dialogue delivery, and using appropriate sound effects. This is how it is done. One classic example of a character played by Voice Artist Gargi in Fear Feather's audio story. The story name is Daini,( WITCH). Gargi is a 24-year-old young lady who played the role of a 100-year-old witch. That voice-over is itself an example of a classic voice-over. A pure genius modulation of the voice of a completely different character. Again the sound effects used by this particular audio story channel are something that differentiates it from the rest. Absolute class.

In short, it is a new source of mining of literary heritage from the sea of Bengali literature. This art form has a separate art form and not only that upcoming writer, creator, but sound engineers are also diving into it making it a full-time profession. In a nutshell, the Bengali audio story is creating its magic day by day as its fan the following base keeps expanding daily. 

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