You could read this as a continuation of the earlier post appreciating the inherent beauty of ONV Kurup’s lyrics in Malayalam films. A film song becomes sweet due to the combined effort of the lyricist, music director with the background music and the singer. Quite often, the role of the musician gets ignored and I feel that it is an injustice. Everyone admires V Dakshinamoorthy who composed the song Chandrikayil Aliyunnu Chandrakaantham. But who cares to know that the excellent interludes which supported the song is composed by R K Sekhar ? By just recollecting those musical gems of the past in totality, let me put down a few songs enriched not only with the lyrics of ONV Kurup but by the compositions that made those songs to live in the memory of all music lovers with its synergy.
1. Enthinee Chilankakal
Film : Karuna ( 1966 )
Music : G Devarajan
Sung by : P Susheela
In the song of Vasavadatta, pay special attention to the charanam of the song :
ആയിരം ഉഷസ്സുകള് ഒന്നിച്ചുദിച്ചു നില്ക്കും
ആ മുഖം അരുകില് ഞാന് എന്ന് കാണും
താഴെ തൊഴുതു നില്ക്കും താമര പൂവാണ് ഞാന്
താലോലിച്ചു എന്നെ നാഥന് തഴുകുകില്ലേ ?
Vasavadatta happens to see Upaguptan, one of Buddha’s disciples – a tall and handsome youth, and falls hopelessly in love with him. She sends an invitation to the yogi but he responds with, ” The time has not yet arrived for Upaguptan to visit Vasavadatta.” ( Please recall the song Samayamayilla Polum from the film sung by P Susheela for Vasavadata)
Another notable song in this film is Karuna than Mani Deepame composed, I believe in Bhoopaalam by G Devarajan. The poet offers his praises to the Buddha in the following lines of the song :
ആത്മ വേദനയാം തമസ്സില്
വിടര്ന്ന നന്ദന പുഷ്പമേ
ആര്ഷ പുണ്യ പുരാണ ഭൂവിന്റെ
ആത്മബോധ പ്രഭാതമേ !
2. Polthinkal Kala Pottu Thotta
Film : Kumarasambhavam ( 1969 )
Music : G Devarajan.
Sung by : K J Yesudas
This song in the film is sung by the character Naradan glorifying Siva and his abode, Kailasam. Two other songs sung by the character Naradan in other films are Sakthimayam Siva sakthimayam (Devi Kanyakumari) & Hari Narayana Govinda (Swamy Ayyappan). Beautifully written by ONV, Devarajan composed this song in Kalyani. The song starts with the Viruttam –
പൊല്ത്തിങ്കള്ക്കല പൊട്ടുതൊട്ട ഹിമവല് ശൈലാഗ്രശൃംഗത്തില്
വെണ്കൊറ്റപ്പൂങ്കുടപോല് വിടര്ന്ന വിമലാകാശാന്തരംഗങ്ങളില്
നൃത്യധൂര്ജ്ജടി ഹസ്തമാര്ന്ന തുടിതന്നുത്താള ഡുംഡും രവം
തത്വത്തിന് പൊരുളാലപിപ്പു മധുരം സത്യം, ശിവം, സുന്ദരം.
There are lot many songs starting with such an introductory note – Kadali Vanangalil before Bharata Muni Oru Kalam Varachu (Yavanika), Dheera Sameere Yamuna Theere before Ambala Parambil Ninnum (Collector Malathy). The songs Kesadipaadam (Pakalkinaavu) & Prabhatam Vidarum (Velutha Kathreena) also have such pieces before the original song. However, the Virutham in Sathya Siva Soundaryangal is worth mentioning due to the positive energizing effect it creates in the beginning of the song.
Film : Swapnam ( 1973 )
Music : Salil Chowdhury
Sung by : Vani Jayaram
Normally Salil Chowdhury composes the tune for a song and subsequently lyrics are added. This is the only song where the musician composed the tune for the lines written by the poet. I read somewhere that Salil Chowdhury was not happy with the song since or the first time he reversed his strategy of music composition.
4. Sarovaram Poo Choodi
Film : Muhoorthangal ( 1977 )
Music : MK Arjunan
Sung by : KJ Yesudas
Muhoorthangal was released in Central Theatre, Thiruvanathapuram.The film fared badly at the box-office and I believe that it could not complete even one week in the releasing cinemas. The song, I think, falls in the category of raag Mohanam. Listen the Anupallavi of the song :
കൈതപ്പൂവിന് അധരം നുകരും
മണമുള്ള ചെമ്പക മലരിന് കവിളില്
തഴുകും കാറ്റിനു ലഹരി
നിന് മുഖ സൌരഭ ലഹരിയിലൊഴുകും
തെന്നലായെങ്കില് ഞാനൊരു തെന്നലായെങ്കില്.
The music director uses the different note komala gandharam when the song enters the line Thazhukum kaattinu lahiri & again takes another different note, the komala dhaivatam to the starting of the line Nin mugha sourabha lahariyil ozhukum and finally ends up in komala gandharam in the last line thennal aayengil. The selection of the two notes makes the song unique and transcend to heights of musical compositions. The combination of the lead guitar and strings supported by flute in the background is also an excellent treat.
5. Maathala Malare
Film : Kaliyodum ( 1965 )
Music : G Devarajan
Sung by : Kamukara Purushothaman.
Prem Nazir appears in the scene. The singer in this song is disturbed and impatient. He invites his beloved into his life.
കാമലേഖനമേ…നീവരു നീവരു നീവരൂ.
See what he says in the charanam
ആദ്യത്തെ രാവിന് ആനന്ദലഹരികള്
പ്രാണനില് നീ പകരൂ നീവരു നീവരു നീവരൂ.
One of the beautiful melodies rendered by Kamukara Purushothaman with rich bhaavam. G Devarajan composed the song, I believe, in Valaji.
6. Kili Chilachu
Film : Samasya ( 1976 )
Music : Udayabhanu
Sung by : K J Yesudas
Samasya, also like Muhoorthangal, was a flop. The story is in the line of those films in the 70’s that depicted decline of Namboodiri/Ambalavaasi domination in the Kerala Society and the aftermath of such a social change (on the lines of Nirmaalyam, Dharmayudham etc). Kamal Hassan takes the lead role in the film. Though the film faded from the memory of people, this song still lives in the heart of all music lovers. How can one forget the prelude? An excellent blend of guitar and strings. The intervening guitar in between the first line kili chilchu & second line kilu kile kai vala chirichu is a good piece but it is the combination of the same guitar with the accompanying percussion after kilu kile ka vala chirichu that gives an excellent treat. A great composition by K P Udayabhanu in durbar kyanada. No information is available about the person who scored the interludes.
7. Kaanaan Kothichenne
Film : Puthri ( 1966 )
Music : M B Sreenivaasan
Sung by : S Janaki.
Santhi is the actress in the scene. She and her lover Madhu regularly meet at a secret place. This song is rendered while Santhi waits for her lover. The songs are composed by M B Sreenivaasan. I can’t really trace out the raga used in the song. But it sounds like Kalyani. Needs further clarifications from the more learned in this subject. I wonder why this so melodious song went unnoticed. Try to spare a few minutes for this song and appreciate how S Janaki presents this beautiful melody in her style. The lyrics are made very simple and beautiful. It’s the feelings of the lover to her beloved; her wishes when he is near.
See the lines :
കണ്ടു കണ്ടിരിക്കുവാന് കഥ പറഞ്ഞിരിക്കുവാന്,
നെഞ്ചിലുണ്ടൊരു മോഹം ഒരു മോഹം
ഈ നെഞ്ചിലുണ്ടൊരു മോഹം
എങ്കിലും പിണക്കമാണെന്നടുത്തവന് വന്നാല്
മിണ്ടുകില്ലാ ഞാന് മിണ്ടുകില്ലാ.
Another song follows this song in the film within a short time. This second song is sung by the hero waiting for his lover at the same place. This song is sung by Kamukara Purushothaman – Vaarmukile Vaarmukile.
8. Srishti than.
Film : Shrishti ( 1976 )
Music : M S Baburaj
Sung by : K J Yesudas
Shristi is the cinema version of the famous drama with the same title written by K T Muhammed. It’s the story of a writer who depicts the comedy and tragedy in the life of his neighbor family. Surasu is the writer in the film. M S Baburaj composed music for the film. The theme of the song is Shrishti. Highly philosophical, the song is rated as one of the must hear song of both ONV and Baburaj. I’ve noted a few lines from the song. The poet with profound grief expresses the futility of it all in a way, by “സൃഷ്ടിതന് വേദനയാരറിയുന്നു!”
The search of truth and for establishing justice the cost that goes unnoticed with :
പൂവുകളായിരം കീറിമുറിച്ചു ഞാന്
പൂവിന്റെ സത്യം പഠിക്കാന്
ഹൃദയങ്ങളായിരം കൊത്തിനുറുക്കി ഞാന്
ഹൃദയത്തിന് തത്ത്വം പഠിക്കാന്
നൂറു സഹോദരരെ കൊന്നു ഞാന്
അഞ്ചുപേര് കുരുക്ഷേത്രം ജയിക്കാന്
ദീപങ്ങളൊക്കെക്കെടുത്തി ഞാന് പ്രാര്ഥിച്ചു
ദീപമേ നീ നയിച്ചാലും
എന്നും പിഴുതു നോക്കുന്നു വേരെണ്ണാന്.
Advocate P P Kunjahmmed, in the collected readings on Baburaj (edited by Jamal Kochangadi: Current Books) recollects that Baburaj, who normally composes songs within an hour took three days to finalise this song. The song is a ragamalika and the recording of this song which started in the morning at AVM Studio completed in the midnight. Actually this song was recorded in three pieces and later edited for a single song. Each piece of the song is composed in three different ragas – Pooryadhanasree, Kalyani and Kalavathi are the three ragas used. Onlt two instruments were used for this song – a tamburu and a sitar. The sitar was played by Janardhana Rao, disciple of Pandit Ravi Sankar.
Do write in about those by the master poet that have stayed with you for its perfect marriage of melody and poetry.