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Marie Curie's story in Kathaprasangam

Ignatius Pereira
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Vasanthakumar Sambasivan staging ‘Marie Curiyude Katha' at a college.
Vasanthakumar Sambasivan staging ‘Marie Curiyude Katha' at a college.

The story of Marie Curie is a glittering chapter of 20th century science. Retold in the Kathaprasangam format, the story finds eager listeners in school and college students in the State.

The artiste who has scripted, and is staging, the Kathaprasangam is Vasanthakumar Sambasivan, Professor of Chemistry at Sree Narayana College here and son of V. Sambasivan, the legendary exponent of the art form. That explains how art and science met.

Prof. Vasanthakumar has staged Marie Curiyude Katha at various colleges and schools, including University College, Thiruvananthapuram. The students get a better understanding of the life and work of the double Nobel Prize winner and pioneering scientist in the field of radioactivity. One more reason perhaps to revive Kathaprasangam, now a shadow of its former popularity.

Marie Curiyude Katha was launched in 2011 as the United Nations declared it the International Year of Chemistry. 2011 was the centenary year of Marie Curie's second Nobel Prize.

The story begins by painting a picture of the plight of colonised Poland, where Marie was born. Her deep patriotic passions, fighting spirit, and quest for knowledge illuminate the narration. Her enthusiasm to migrate to Paris and study in the Sorbonne is presented in a way that it is meant to encourage the student audience to overcome hardships. The sacrifice she made in exposing herself to harmful radiation while discovering the elements polonium and radium is beautifully presented.

Vasanthakumar Sambasivan has been staging the story for students across the State.


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