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Heart (ഹൃദയം) usually refers to the organ which pumps our blood to various parts of the body, and Mind (മനസ്സ്) refers to where thought processes occur in us, where we feel emotions. However, in Malayalam movie lyrics, lyricists have painted vastly different pictures of various aspects of the mind using those terms interchangeably. Most of these have philosophical undertones. Here are some of my favourites.
1. Paavam Maanava Hridayam from Abhayam (1970)
Lyrics: Sugathakumari | Music : V Dakshinamoorthy
The poetic beauty of Sugathakumari’s lyrics combined with Dakshinamoorthy’s brilliant tune makes this my favourite. The last stanza goes like this:
ഒരു താരകയെ കാണുമ്പോൾ അതു രാവു മറക്കും
പുതുമഴകാൺകെ വരൾച്ച മറക്കും
പാൽച്ചിരി കണ്ടതു മൃതിയെ മറന്നു സുഖിച്ചേ പോകും…
As soon as it sees a lone star
It forgets the night
When it sees the new season showers
It forgets the long drought past
When it sees the sweet milky smile of a baby
It forgets death.
2. Hridayathinoru Vaathil from Poonthenaruvi ( 1974 )
Lyrics : SreeKumaran Thampi | Music : MK Arjunan
Sreekumaran Thampi visualises the mind as a palatial mansion with just one door. Distressing if it is open, distressing if it stays closed.
The lyricist goes on to say:
പുഷ്പങ്ങള് വാടിയ മണിയറകള്
ശില്പങ്ങള് തിളങ്ങുന്ന മച്ചകങ്ങള്
What seems like deep vaults hiding precious gems
are in reality cheerless bridal chambers decked in faded flowers
Ceilings seemingly adorned with beautiful sculptures
are in reality dinghy cellars harbouring poisonous serpents.
I loved to listen to this song all the more for the spoken bits in Yesudas’s voice which was so musically delicious to my ears🙂
3. Maanava Hridayam Bhraanthaalayam from Ananthashayanam (1972)
Lyrics : Sreekumaran Thampi | Music : K Raghavan
If in the previous song SKT visualised the mind as a dubious palatial mansion, in this song he says it is a mental asylum, an eternal dancing ground of incurable disease. K Raghavan’s heart-rending music and Jayachandran’s soulful rendering makes it one of my favourites.
In SKT’s words:
ഓരോ വികാരവുമോരോ ഭ്രാന്തന്
Each emotion is a lunatic
A vagrant who wanders in frenzy before his death
– So Powerful !
4. Manassoru Maayaa Prapancham from Ethirppukal (1984)
Lyrics : Unni Aranmula | Music : TS Radhakrishnan
Incredibly difficult to fathom, man found it much easier to ascribe magical powers to it. This song says that the mind is a magical world in which Time draws and erases thousands of indistinct pictures. Several other songs also follow this theme – Manassoru Maanthrikakkoodu (Kaliveedu / 1996) S Ramesan Nair – Mohan Sithara; Manasse Neeyoru Maanthrikano (Aa Nimisham / 1977) Yusafali Kecheri- G Devarajan ; Manassoru Maanthrika Kuthirayaay (Mela / 1980) Mullanezhi-MBS; Manassenna Marathaka Dweepil (Ezhuthaatha Kadha / 1970) are just some of them.
5. Hrudayam Devaalayam from Theruvugeetham (1979)
The lyricist Bichu Thirumala compares the human mind to a temple where past become the flower offerings. Music is by the famous Jaya-Vijaya brothers.
Another in this theme where the mind could also be a temple where the love between two people becomes the worship song – Manassoru Devikshethram from ( Night Duty / 1974) Vayalar – Dakshinamoorthy;
The mind has also been represented as:
A deep sea (Manasse Neeyoralayaazhi – Surabheeyaamangal / 1986, Pappanamkodu Lakshmanan / Kannur Rajan); Manassoru Samudram (Manassoru Mahaasamudram – Kanam EJ / MK Arjunan)
A peacock dancing rapturously in happiness in anticipation of the approaching rain of love Manassoru Mayilpeda ( Akkarappacha / 1972).
As always with Vayalar lyrics, the beauty is the rich imagery presented in so few words, and the befitting music by Devarajan.
or last but not the least, a flower, a red lotus at that (Antharangam Oru Chenthaamara – Shuddhikalasham / 1979 SKT/Shyam).
This is a sweet semi-classical by Jayachandran comparing the blooming and fading of the lotus with the arrival and departure of the sun while the mind blossoms in happiness seeing a smile and fills with sadness at each farewell; But there is always the hope of another dawn fast approaching.