Harischandra (1955)’s huge success, I guess, was also partly because of that one fabulous number Aathmavidyalayamey, sung by Kamukara Purushothaman, who had his debut in film playback singing for Ponkathir ( 1953), a home production of Merry Land, under Neela Productions. There were a total of 16 songs, written by Thirunayinaarkurichi Madhavan Nair and set to music by Br Lakshmanan, the hit pair of that era. Aatmavidyalayamey, seems to be inspired by the beautiful Sanskrit Kriti, Manasa Sancharare composed by Sadashiva Brahmendra in the 18th Century. You can find the entire list of the songs here – my favorite place for Malayalam Film Music, MSI 🙂
The list of singers include Kamukara Purushotthamana Nair, CS Radhadevi,Cherthala Gopalan Nair, Kaviyoor Revamma, Kumari Thampi, P Leela, PB Sreenivas, Santha P Nair and V Lakshmi. Apart from Aathmavidyalayamey, there are two other compositions that stay with you. The first one that always brings on a chuckle..the effervescent Kattu Mulley, Naanam Vannilley which is the “seduction song” that the sirens belt out in front of a bemused King! More than the song, its the dance that holds my attention, one of the perfect examples of those “Pair-Mirror Dances” that was a specialty of those times! ( Minai is going to be delighted!)
Here is Kattumulley from Harischandra (1955)
Here is Athmavidyalayamey from the film.
Here is Manasa Sanchararey, from Shankarabharanam, rendered by Vani Jayaram.
The other one would be Mahal tyaagamey, a paean on the greatness of the King whose convictions to uphold the Truth above everything else, has now led to his exile, sung by PB Srinivas, presumed to be his first song in Malayalam.
Here is PB Srinivas’ debut in Malayalam Playback, the philosophical Mahal tyaagamey