When Knowledge Gained Rhythm

When Knowledge Gained Rhythm

Mar 13, 2017 | Sriya Sainath

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My textbook, back when I was in tenth, contained long, redundant paragraphs which tried to explain the types of magnetic behaviour observed among substances. The entire first section could have been, I realized recently, summarized through two lines of a stanza in a marvellous poem I read a few days back:

“Para brothers have net magnetic moment orient in random;

   Strong field only can align, magnetism is weak and seldom.”

Remember when we cook up poems, trying to convert our mundane textbook script into lyrics that somehow make it so much easier to remember and understand? A lot of us do it consciously, the rest instinctively, but neither would shy away from acknowledging the power of verse in catalyzing this indescribable process. “Thought flows in forms of poems and stories.” Prof S. Panigrahi, from the department of Physics at NITR, realized this correlation between memory and poems and went on the implement it through his recent book, “Learning Science & Social Science - Through Poems”, in a manner which is as commendable as it is innovative.

Written with a universal objective to establish an intrinsic relationship between science and society, one which has been existent since the dawn of mankind, this book is addressed through 80 poems, which make it almost impossible for the reader to forget its essence, well in accordance with the aims the author intended to achieve. From combatting environmental pollution, peaceful coexistence within nature, the relation between science, religion and spirituality, to health, basic human essentials and many more quantum thoughts - this unique piece of work deals with it all.

Published by ‘S’ Publisher from the Old Berhampur, this book, which is the seventh one of the author, was printed at Maa Mangala Press from Basanti Colony Road, Rourkela, and distributed by Mohapatra Book Store, Ispat Market, Rourkela. Costing a mere INR 160, it hardly is a pinch to the pocket, and is written in an extremely colloquial style, with rampant yet subtle use of metaphors and lucid imagery to convey the underlying cryptic meaning to the readers beneath the guise of an appealing conversational rune. There also is available a 20% discount for students, and there are plans of reducing the price of the book altogether.

It fulfils many purposes through the course of the poems. A few leaflets educate the readers on health issues and food habits, while some others introduce us to latest developments and proposed theories under Physical and Material Science. Prof. Panigrahi started writing poems purely out of personal interest, about 10 years back and culminated his works only recently owing to encouragement from many of his supporters. They have already been translated, after the author’s consent, into Odia, and their Hindi translation is under progress. He wishes his words reach out to as many people as possible, especially school children who are young and more impressionable, and his message to radiate across the common mass is as follows: 

Why can’t men of different ethnicity coexist when jarring elements bind together in nature? Why does learning have to be dreary and monotonous?

By enlightening the reader in an unconventional manner about the history of science, by preaching social values and guiding us through our moral responsibilities, and by addressing various debated issues in the current environment- this book definitely serves its intended purpose. “For every reader, there is a book”, they say, but this book is for every reader.

Department Of Physics

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