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Saturday, January 17, 2015

kagitha kappal thanni mela ~ the paper boat that sailed !!


The song ‘kagitha odam kadal alai mele’ in Marakka Mudiyuma starring SS Rajendran and Devika with music of TR Pappa was a hit in those days. ‘kagitham’ is paper – the art of folding papers in desired shapes is called – ‘Origami’. The word is from ori meaning "folding", and kami meaning "paper".  The art of paper folding is believed to have started as early as in the 17th century; was popularized outside of Japan in the mid-1900s and later evolved into a modern art form.  In olden days, then rain stops, children would float paper boats in running water. For a few minutes until it takes on water, it would sail – not for long though !

‘Madras’ starring Karthi directed by Pa Ranjith had a different storyline, shot in North Madras (Vyasarpadi area).   Set in the background of dusty playground, small apartments, colourful plastic waterpots and local slang – was violent portrayal of fight surrounding painting of political person on a wall.  In between all the gory killing and blood spilling, there is romance too.  The song ‘Kagitha kappal’ of Gaana Bala was quite a hit among a section.

‘Kaagitha Kappal Kadalila Kavunthiduchaa - Kaathalil Thothutu Kannathila Kaiya Vechutaan; Odura Paamba Pudikura Vayasilla Thaan; Yeruna Odaiyira Murungakka Marathila Thaan……….’  Bala Murugan, better known by his stage name Gana Bala  credited for reviving the gaana genre in Tamil Cinema  penned lyrics for this song.

This is no post on Gaana ‘kagitha kappal’ but a paper boat that sailed on water and was intact after two hours.   This  paper boat  reinforced with glue and 492 ft (150 metres) of sticky tape, weighed  220 lbs (100kg) and was launched on Southwark Boating Lake in South London by pupils from Tottenham UTC school and 'handled like a dream'.  It was captained by a direct descendant of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Children have always marvelled the thoughts of paper boat storming the rainy storm – here was a stunt of giant origami version carrying an adult that marked 50 days of  the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham.  Unlike the simple toy that's constructed using a single piece of paper, they also used glue and sticky tape to create the lake-worthy vessel, which measures (12feet) 3.6 metres long. Weighing in at 220 lbs (100kg) and measuring six feet (two metres) wide, the boat was made from 305 feet (93 metres) of paper measuring three feet (1.1 metres wide) – the length of a football pitch – as well as 492 feet (150 metres) of sticky tape and two gallons (10 litres) of glue, to keep it waterproof. Engineers selected paper that is stronger and more water-resistant than usual, because the boat was to be in the water for much longer than a normal small-scale version.  They also made modifications to the traditional design.

It is reported that pupils from Tottenham UTC school  helped the launch of the  giant paper construction on Southwark Boating Lake in South London to mark the 50 day countdown to the annual The Big Bang Fair, which promotes careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. To ensure it didn’t capsize, a keel of wood was added underneath the boat, while a polystyrene block supporting the pyramid of paper was added for safety. Ridged paper in the base of the boat created a platform strong enough for someone to stand on.

The project was intended to show them that even the humble paper boat can be super-sized using engineering techniques capable of making it strong enough for a human. Morwenna Wilson, an award-winning engineer who is a direct descendent of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, captained the boat on its maiden voyage.  The report concludes stating that the  craft stayed in the water for two hours and is still intact, despite having a soggy bottom - but no-one is sure exactly how long it could survive. It is said to have 'handled like a dream'.

So kagitha kappal may not sink and may float too !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

16th Jan 2015.

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