Songs and dances from Bhargavi Nilayam (1964)

Bhargavinilayam (1964) - The Love Interludes There were seven songs in all composed for Bhargavi Nilayam, written by P Bhaskaran and set to music by MS Baburaj and its rare to find an entire set from a movie becoming perennial favorites, even after, 46 years ! It would be hard to find someone who loves Malayalam movies who hasn’t sang Thamasamenthe Varuvan to his dreamgirl, in his solitary, pining moments atleast once! Or for that matter, the Nightingale’s silken Pottithakarnna Kinavu never fails to tug at your heartstrings. I guess the only composition that got ‘overshadowed’ by the rest had to be the dance number, Anuraaga Madhuchashakam, but that, is also something that has its own uniqueness which I will share in a bit. There is a school of thought that leans towards the very fact that MS Baburaj adapted an already existing melody structure to his own style for Thamasamenthe varuvan and Vasantha Panchami nalil, but I don’t care. The compositions were pure genius, and if you haven’t heard them by now, do yourself a favor and do it.

1.Anuraaga Madhuchashakam

Lyrics. : P Bhaskaran
Music : MS Baburaj
Sung by : S Janaki

Bhargavi gets Sasi Kumar to compose a song for her dance program at college, which is also marks the beginning of their love affair that ends under tragic circumstances. The dance, I personally think, is also the first and last ‘Moth-Dance’ in Malayalam cinema 🙂 ( Minai, another one for your collection). The 60’s were rife with themed dances ( mainly in Tamil, Hindi and Telugu) but sadly, when it came to Malayalam, all we got were ‘dances on afterthought’, I personally feel. Unless, of course, the leading protagonists were capable of carrying it off and the director thought the risk was justified, like this. Anyways, welcome to a very interesting dance sequence.

2.Arabikkadaloru Manavalan

Lyrics. : P Bhaskaran
Music : MS Baburaj
Sung by : KJ Yesudas, S Janaki

The Arabian sea as the eager groom and the undulating shore as the bride – that’s evocative. The lovers are just getting to know each other and just can’t seem to have enough of each other’s company. Vijayanirmala conveys the innocence of Bhargavi with a dash of mischief  ever so beautifully.

3. Ekaanthathayude.

Lyrics. : P Bhaskaran
Music : MS Baburaj
Sung by : Kamukara Purushothaman

The lyrics for the composition seems to have been taken from one of his short stories Anargha Nimisham , and with Kamukara Purushothaman’s voice and the sparse accompanying score so as to give the perfect emphasis on the ‘desolateness of the shore’, this is perfect for any solitary soul.

4.Pottaatha Ponnin.

Lyrics. : P Bhaskaran
Music : MS Baburaj
Sung by : S Janaki

Bhargavi’s pained revelation on how her life turned out to be, as she hopes against hope that her lover would come back just as he promised, but its weighed down by helplessness and pain.

5.Pottithakarnna Kinaavu.

Lyrics. : P Bhaskaran
Music : MS Baburaj
Sung by : S Janaki

This version is the ‘realisation’ from the Other Side, as to how things turned out.

6.Thaamasamenthe Varuvan

Lyrics. : P Bhaskaran
Music : MS Baburaj
Sung by : KJ Yesudas

Arguably Baburaj‘s masterpiece. That said, the heavy influence and shall we say inspiration of Talat Mehmood‘s aural flourishes somehow pales in comparison with this flowing, gurgling, sparkling sonic stream. I had written about these very same aspects a while ago here, but let me be very clear when I say that Thamasamenthe Varuvan, in itself is sheer heaven. But watching the ‘sitarist’ Sasi Kumar singing it, one can’t help but think – Prem Nazir can’t even play a single note convincingly on that fretboard to save his life ! All through the song, AND the movie, it looks as if he is trying to scratch his itchy palm on the frets. If only he got that right! ( Is that a little too much to ask?)

Talat Mehmood’s Humse Aaya na gaya for some perspective.

7.Vaasantha Panchami Naalil

Lyrics. : P Bhaskaran
Music : MS Baburaj
Sung by : KJ Yesudas

Bhargavi pines for her beloved. Some say one can trace the faint fragrance of Chaudvi Ka Chand in the tune, but I say, so what. S Janaki sounds perfect.

Related : Classic Picks | A Vincent | Bhargavi Nilayam (1964)

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5 thoughts on “Songs and dances from Bhargavi Nilayam (1964)

  1. Thaamasamenthe Varuvan – what can one say about it?! I have played that song to many of my non-Malayali friends and they were just astounded by it. One friend, who is a practicing Hindustani musician (non-Malayali) was just amazed by the sitar interludes!
    Vasantha panchami – each time that line is sung, it is different. Only a genius like Baburaj could have come up with so many sangathis…

  2. It’s amazing that you can listen to “Thaamasamenthe” a few times over, and still look at it every time as if it were a God-send of a song. Yesudas, him and only him it could be, does that crazy poignant trip with the insane lyrics and what have you, the song has become this shining icon to be used over and over again to evoke both the romance and periodic feel of the 60′s in contemporary times. Thank you, CM for this fantastic write. Clap, clap!

    1. Dear Soni,
      It IS amazing.No one some consider as the one that probably feature’s on every Malayali’s favorite list of songs. If that ain’t a honor, I can’t imagine what else could be. Regards..Cinematters.

  3. Thanks for the shout out! What a fun “moth dance” – I love dances that actually try to be creative and follow a theme. I always find the “person superimposed on a small object” camera trickery of the time very amusing- must have been quite something at the time! 🙂 Interesting to read your comment about “afterthought” dances in classic Malayalam cinema- a shame really for us dance lovers! I think my favorite classic Malayalm dance is probably the “twin” Mohiniattam-inspired performance in Nirmalyam, though that came a bit later in the early 70s.

    1. LOL . It is fun, and glad you loved it. 🙂 There are a couple of them, other than the brilliant one in Nirmalayam which I am trying to collate, and will surely keep you updated on when it comes up .. ( You know I will :-P). Thanks so much for passing through..Regards, Cinematters

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