KOCHI: Until now, kathakali involved presenting stories and incidents from epics and mythology. In a first, the state’s traditional dance form took a deviation during the Kerala Science Fest 2019 on Sunday, when kathakali exponent C G Narayanan Namboothiri, through various mudras and bhavas, portrayed the life and achievements of Indian physicist Sir C V Raman.
“It was a tough decision. However, Narayanan, who is also a scientist with the Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI), was confident of doing justice to Raman’s story,” said K Muraleedharan, head of social science division, CPCRI, Kasaragod.
Explaining how the tale titled ‘Rama Prabhavam’ – associated with Raman’s evolution to someone who carved a niche for himself in the scientific world – was developed, Muraleedharan said, “Narayanan focused on telling the tale by including every stage in the scientist’s life.”
Sir Raman was an inquisitive child, Muraleedharan said. “The intricate manner in which nature was designed, the components that made it magical and the functioning of every single element had piqued his curiosity. This led him to discover the ‘Raman effect’,” he said.
He said telling a scientific tale, that too through a traditional dance form, was very difficult.
“To prepare the aattakatha (story), Narayanan approached Thiruvalla Gopikuttan Nair. Together, they converted a scientific tale into one that kathakali would do justice to. The one-hour recital began with the interesting adventures and misadventures of a young Raman, then proceeded to cover his journey as a scientist and his moment of recognition,” Muraleedharan said.
Narayanan presented a flawless depiction of the character of Raman, he said.