As life becomes more busy and more complicated, memory lapses advance with age, we start making lists. Lists rule our lives. Shopping lists. To do lists. Telephone contacts lists. Password lists. Lists of complaints. And less commonly, lists of compliments – the list of Lists go on and on.
Maambazhakkoottathil from Bhaagyamudra (1967)
When we are in the first flush of love we compare the loved one with the best of everything we know. From the tastiest Mulgoa mango, to Kanni, the pleasantest month of the year, to Ebony, the rarest, hardiest and most beautiful wood, to a Sindhi cow, the friendliest and most productive of the lot ( In this day and age these lyrics would be found to be sexist and discriminatory, but the poet meant it to be the best of all things, surely🙂 ) The song goes on to list no less than 12 metaphors. Lyrics were by P Bhaskaran and music by the much-loved Pukazhenthi, made a comedy classic by KJY.
A softer, more romantic list with a floral theme can be heard in the song Vaalittu Kannezhuthum from Kaikkudanna Nilaavu (1998) comparing his love to Vasantham, the season when everything is bright, and in bloom. Sung by KJY, the song is written by Gireesh Puthencheri and music by Kaithapram.
Panchavadiyile Vijayashreeyo from Padmavyooham (1973)
If the hero in my first selection was describing the object of his desire based entirely on the beautiful things in nature, the leads in my second most favourite song were definitely movie buffs. In their fantasy their loved ones morph into the most famous stars of the Indian silver screen. No less than 15 are mentioned, including Vijayashree, Ragini, Padmini, Sheela, Sharada, Prem Nazir, Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendra, Sathyan, Madhu – this comedy classic has been mentioned in OMC in the Meena Special earlier, showcasing the excellent dancing skills of Adoor Bhasi and Meena bopping away to the lines of Sreekumaran Thampi set to tune by the great MK Arjunan.
Angaadi Marunnukal from Amrithavaahini (1976)
Feeling unwell? Adoor Bhasi and his apprentice Sreelatha lists a whopping 53 medicinal herbs in just 2:33 entertaining minutes. Although Adoor Bhasi has sung about 25 songs for movies, this is notably the only one for which he himself penned the lyrics. Music is by AT Ummer.
If your head is still reeling after that, there is treatment from the revered living legend V Dakshinamoorthy (Naagaraadi ennayundu – Devaalayam 1964- Lyrics by Abhayadev – Music by Dakshinamoorthy Swami himself ) serving out 10 different medicines out of the same “Bharani”. They smell the same, and they come from the same container, but prices vary according to the customer.😀
Kuruvippetti Nammude Petti from Sthaanaarthi Saramma (1966)
Who can forget the promises political parties make to the poor public to win an election? But, miraculously, as soon as they assume office the promises predictably go out the window. In this song there are about 15 promises that Saramma’s party makes which would make their Panchayath a veritable paradise. At home, growing up, we used to say “……Naadaahe Ariyude Kunnuhalaanu….(in typical Adoor Bhasi style) as a sarcastic comment to some unbelievable claim or promise someone made to us.
Maayaamaalavagowla Raagam from Swathu (1980)
In my opinion, there is no other movie song in Malayalam which showcases this many (14) ragas demonstrating and emphasising their characteristic differences. Listening to this song takes me on a long musical journey – into Nature, Seasons and Life, and how music is integrated in all these. A classic created by the combination of of MD Rajendran’s beautiful lyrics, G Devarajan;s musical genius and the golden voice of KJY’s soulful rendering. I consider this the ultimate in lists. Better than all the rest.
I hope you have enjoyed my list. Please do write in with your favourites.