Ponkathir (1953), Lata Mangeshkar, Br.Lakshmanan and Jikki’s liveliness.

It was the passing away of Adoor Pankajam that was the reason that made yours truly sit and watch Ponkathir (1953) one more time. Of the 13 songs, (actually 12 excluding the traditional Anjana Sreedhara), by the Br.Lakshmanan-Thirunayinaarkurichi Madhavan Nair team, there is this one, Padoo Maanasame Padoo that sounds suspiciously close to Lataji’s classic Laage Jabse Nain Laage from Daag (1952) !

The songs output of the Malayalam films from the early 60’s have always surprised me, specially the creative output of the Br.Lakshmanan-Thirunayinaarkurichi Madhavan Nair team, with most of their movies averaging at least 10 songs or more.

Maybe it was in in their eagerness to keep up with the output or maybe as an unwritten requirement of the times expected out of a film , or maybe it was a bit of both. The Malayalam version, though  carefully copied from the original, Jikki‘s liveliness and ‘bounce’ makes it worthy of a second listening anytime.

Daag (1952)

Song :  Laage Jabse Nain Laage
Music Director :  Shankar-JaiKishen
Lyrics : Shailendra
Sung by : Lata Mangeshkar

Ponkathir (1953)

Song :  Padoo Manasame Padoo
Music Director :  Br.Lakshmanan
Lyrics : Thirunayinaarkurichi Madhavan Nair
Sung by : Jikki

5 thoughts on “Ponkathir (1953), Lata Mangeshkar, Br.Lakshmanan and Jikki’s liveliness.

  1. Dear CM,
    Infact Ponkathir was a good movie.But i dont know how about d social acceptance of this Film.I loved it a lot.I had heard that Lalitha was ready to associate in this movie(besides her busy schedules) even though Nasir was a beginner in Malayalam Indusrty during that time.Famous playback singer Kamukara started his career through Ponkathir.TR.Omana appeared as Aramula Ponnama’s daughter and stepped in song…”sugame..sugame”….
    And here is a tendency of Ragini in Male role.Do u know that it was Ragini who danced along with Lalitha and Padmini in d famous market song in Nagayyas’ “Ezhai Padum Paadu”?Also u can c a long short dance role of Ragini in Marumakal along with Padmini in a stage performance.
    Also i happened to c a Tamil movie by both Sivaji and Jayalalitha.There was a club dance in that movie where i think it was Ragini wgo danced with Jayalalitha in Male attaire with Pands and Shirt(kindly check it with and pls let me knew d movie)

  2. Hi,Ponkathir(1953-54) was d first Malayalam Movie in which Prem Nasir associated with Mery Land Studios.Both Ragini and Lalitha performed well in song..”pokuvanaam..pokuvamaan”.It was a great movie speaking on family morales.I loved to c this movie.

    1. Hi Manu,
      A very ‘raw’ Prem Nazir could be seen in Ponkathir, but he showed promise and flashes of a brilliant future ahead, as you watch the film. 🙂 The fact that it was the starting of his association with Merryland is news to me.. Thank you. And needless to say, the Travancore Sisters were fabulous !..Regards..CM

  3. Hi. This is a fun soundtrack, from what I can hear, though maybe with at least a couple of songs “suspiciously close” to Bollywood hits. Here’s another similarity that I noticed:

    1. Hi Richard…
      Thank your for that valuable insight..Couldn’t agree with you more..I guess the demands on the handful of talented people in the nascent times of Malayalam Cinema might have been a a very “heavy” one.:)
      But try as I might, I just cannot get myself to comprehend why they made such high demands on themselves,forcing them to look up north for possible inspiration and tune to rack up the number of compositions in every film..Thanks again.:)

      PS..The KPAC series is on next..:)

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