Wednesday, March 25, 2015


V.Sambasivan was one of the  well accomplished and very popular 'Kathaprasangam' artist of Kerala.Kathaprasangam is an art form  of story telling by narrating the sequences in detail including suitable songs which connects the story.They    add some  dialogues  between the characters and  performs acting  also and manifest in a reliable manner attractive to the audience.The Kathaprasangam artist should be a very good actor also and he needs  to act the situations alone by himself for all the characters in the story  which means this is a 'mono -act' art form performed with accompanying musical instruments like Tabla,Harmonium etc.Another singer well versed in Classical Carnatic singing will also be among  the Kathaprasangam group of artists to support the main artist  for singing songs.
Sambasivan was born on July 4, 1929 at Chavara Thekkumbhagam in Kollam.He studied at Sree Narayana College Kollam for degree course and while as a student   he worked for the student wing of Indian Communist Party(AISF) and later he stood along with Communist Party of India(Marxist) as a firm supporter.

He usually selected stories in such a way that there would  be some elements in it which could  help the listeners to eradicate the evils prevailed in the society and to help support the working class in many ways for their better life.He also  selected well known stories from  International Classics  like 'Shakespeare's Othello'
.He selected Novels of Bengali writers like 'Bimal Mitra'  for his narration of Kathaprasangam programs.He modified and developed  the stories in a suitable manner   to be presented on the  stages  including the lyrics of the songs. He was loved for his  unique, unparalleled and  convincing  style of Kathaprasangam  such that the  audience in large numbers used to sit for more than three hours listening to his magical way of story telling spell bound.
Sambasivan had a gifted powerful voice and he could change his tone and voice methodically  such that he spoke in different tones for different characters.The hero would  be presented by him in a particular voice whereas the heroine used to  be speaking in another voice and the villain would  be speaking in yet another voice was his magic of presentation.Sambasivan was highly acclaimed for his voice control and the well expressive, emotive voice.His expressions on face were also equally  well acclaimed and his song rendition and the  dialogues which  contained all the emotions in respective levels were highly impressive.He was able to twist and change the different emotions very fast so that he audience would be thrilled.The emotive face and voice helped him to attain heights in this profession very easily.Sambasivan could easily create and transform  the sequences of the story as an illusion to the minds of the people and they could also 'feel' the emotions of the characters as if real.
He presented his first 'Kathaprasangam' at his native place in a nearby temple when he was a college student and earned the love of the audience.After his College studies he became a teacher but quit the job and concentrated as a 'Kathaprasangam artist'.
His Kathaprasangam stories like 'Othello,Irupatham Noottandu,Ayisha,Aneesia' etc earned large scale success.He presented more than 50 stories in his Kathaprasangam career.
Sambasivan acted as the hero of a Malayalam film 'Pallankuzhy' in 1983 and 'Roopa' was the heroine.He also acted in a documentary about poet 'Kumaranasan'.
Sambasivan's son Vasantha Kumar Sambasivan who is Chemistry Professor at Sree Narayana College,Kollam has followed his father's path and  earned name and fame as a 'Kathaprasangam' artist also
Dr.Vasanthakumar Sambasivan

 for the last several years.
V.Sambasivan passed away on April 23, 1996 at the age of 67.

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