Aakashangalil Irikkum Njangalude (Our Father who art in Heaven) from K.S.Sethumadhavan’s Naadan Pennu (1967) still gives me goosebumps each time I listen to it. Like most of its contemporary compositions, this Vayalar creation was simple, sweet and beautiful. For anyone who knew the Lord’s Prayer, this was a step closer to divinity, and for most who haven’t, an absolute gem that captures the spirit of the evening vespers.
The film was adapted from Chembil John’s novel of the same name, and wasproduced by M.O. Joseph. I remember reading an article of Chembil John reminiscing about how the whole song came to be. It was during the end of the shooting schedule that he realised that there had to be a hymn that captured the spirit of the novel’s main characters’ social environment, and what better way than a celebratory one that gave thanks to the Lord, the Keeper and Provider?
He discussed this with the Producer who felt it was a good idea and together they landed up at Vayalar’s den. Vayalar, taken up by the idea, wrote the lyrics in 5 minutes flat and together they went to Devrajan Master, who was available in the next room, going over his latest project. Taken in by the simplicity and the strength of the lyrics, it didn’t take Devarajan Master any much longer to set it to the tune that we listen to, today.
Sung by P. Susheela (sometimes I wish it had been S.Janaki – Susheelamma’s pronunciation can be a bit cringe worthy at times!), this ranks among the other classics of the genre, simple, strong and eternal!
Aakashangalil Irikkum njangade
Film : Naadan Pennu (The Village Belle)
Lyrics : Vayalar Rama Varma
Music : G.Devarajan
Sung by : P.Susheela.