Umma (1960), was a movie that could be remembered for many reasons. The first mainstream Malayalam film that successfully integrated the Muslim social fabric into “the commercially existing family drama format” in Malayalam Cinema and made a high-voltage potboiler out of it. It also rescued Udaya Studios from going under, and saw the debut of M.Kunchako as a director.
Raagam, released in 1975, was directed by A.Bheem Singh ( Sukumari’s husband) had its music of all the 6 compositions of Vayalar, done by Salilda, and the most popular among the soundtracks have to be Nadan pattile Mynah and Ividekattinu Sugandham.
The latter became the title of many risque one-liners and the butt of many jokes ( the expression that literally translates to “I love the fragrance in the breeze here” was a phrase begging to be misused, in the opposite sense).
It would be kind of missing the point to say that the amazing repertoire of Salilda‘s contribution to Malayalam Cinema, more or less revolves around Chemmeen‘s soundtrack, every single one of them. It was close to around 25 films, the last being Vellam (1984), produced by actor Devan ( his first and last stint in production). What is not commonly known to most who deeply love Salilda’s music style was his dexterity in adapting his tunes across Indian languages which would have given anyone else the ants-in-pants syndrome. Not that all were successful. I always wince everytime I listen to Kadali, Chenkadali from Nellu, rendered by Lata Mangeshkar for Salilda in Malayalam. Surely, S. Janaki or P.Susheela were available, weren’t they? Continue reading
Recently read about a quote by Zero Babu, a long time associate of the legendary MS Baburaj, how he literally adored Talat Mehmood and his compositions, mostly his vocal style. As we listen to Thamasamenthe Varuvan, we realise this could be nothing else than a way of offering tribute to the genius of Talat Mehmood. Continue reading