Welcome to the Red Curtain Project, a new initiative from Thresh dedicated to sharing stories, ancient and modern, from the Indian subcontinent.


(Why "Red Curtain"? Click here)


Each week, we will publish a new story. In sharing these stories with you, our hope is that you will be inspired to tell and perform your own stories. In challenging times stories can bring us together and build empathy—as they always have, since the beginning of time. 


Preeti Vasudevan (Artistic Director, Thresh) performs the stories using "abhinaya"—the term in Indian traditional dance for "expression." She does this by using special facial movements and hand gestures (called "mudras") to create the mood of the story.

Thresh and the Red Curtain Project is proud to partner with Tulika, an independent, multilingual publisher of children's books that pioneered a fresh wave in Indian publishing when it was founded in 1996 (winner of the 2019 London Book Fair Award for Excellence in Literary Translation Initiative). 


Munna and the Maharaja


Our second series of stories has a very important theme: the wisdom of children. We'll be doing three stories on this theme—and below is the second: "Munna and the Maharaja." (The third in the set will be published on May 20th.)

For this series we're delighted to join forces with two wonderful artists who also take the time to share "behind the scenes" insights into their creative process:

  • Composer Ben Foskett (Paris, France)

  • Illustrator Tom Lynch (New York, USA)


From ancient myth to modern tales, the courage and resilience of children have taught the world about bravery risk compassion and creativity. The three tales in this series represent the wonderful writings of ancient and modern authors.


Please enjoy this story and please scroll down the page to check out our previous stories as well.


Munna believes an old man in dusty clothes at his uncle's tea shop is the Maharaja. But his uncle simply doesn't—and laughs at him. But who is right?


This performance is based on the book Munna and the Maharaja written by Fawzia Gilani Williams, illustrated by Deepa Balsavar and published by Tulika. It has been adapted with original music and illustration for The Red Curtain Project. 


A well-loved tale from the ancient myths of Hinduism shows the great wisdom of the young Ganesha, as he competes with his brother Murugan in a race around the Universe!


Our final story in the "Wisdom of Children" series will be released later this month. Watch this space!


Our first series of stories comprised three well-known stories that derive originally from India's Buddhist tradition, called the JATAKA TALES. Each of the stories shows clever animals outwitting their human enemies!


These stories were developed in collaboration with two wonderful artists who share their process

  • Composer Mal Stein (New York, USA)

  • Illustrator Bhumenjoy Konsam (Imphal, Manipur, India)

Select a story below.


A lovely story about how a quick-witted antelope outsmarts a foolish hunter who chases him into the forest.


A noble hare impresses Indra, King of Gods, with his selfless generosity. He's rewarded with a remarkable token of gratitude, visible to all the people of the Earth.


An antelope is chased and captured by a determined hunter. But the hunter did not bargain for the quick wits of his friends the woodpecker and the tortoise!


The RED CURTAIN Challenge - your drawings!

Here are some lovely drawings from young creatives from around the world who took the "Red Curtain Challenge"—to send us a drawing or a painting inspired by one of the stories.


Would you like to be one of our fabulous creatives? Inspire us with your work and send it to


Talk to us!

After you've experienced the stories, we would love to hear from you. Please let us know what worked best for you and what you feel could be improved.


Remember, it takes a village...

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