Onam and Onathumbi from Old Malayalam Cinema.

Odes to the Dragonfly

Onathumbi in Malayalam Film SongsDragonfly Pix Credit : Jkadavoor

I am yet to be made aware of another regional community that attaches so much significance to the presence of  an insect, specifically,  the picture wing dragonfly, when it comes to their greatest celebration  that represents a new beginning, gaiety, mirth, hope and above all the warmth of homecoming. Our little Onathumbi has been so ingrained in our Onam celebrations, that it is but natural to find its reflections in Malayalam Cinema too.

Continue reading Onam and Onathumbi from Old Malayalam Cinema.

Remembering MG Radhakrishnan and his Songs.

[ This was written on July 3, 2010 on the passing of MG Radhakrishnan, as my own little tribute to this unassuming genius in music as we know it. Today, a year on, the memories and the songs are still afresh, just like they were, new off the composing console.]

I think Providence is in a hurry to take back all the talent that had been powering Malayalam Cinema, and is going about it with its cold and clinical might that is beyond the scope of our mortal capabilities. With the passing of MG Radhakrishnan, Malayalam Cinema loses another school of playback compositions – no more of the new compositions in the exquisitely mellowed  Ahori Raga, or for the matter, the earthy tone of Unni Ganapathiye. Speaking of which, it was just two days back I watched Kalli Chellamma (1969), one of the enduring classics from Shobhana Parameshwaran Nair, and just couldn’t take my eyes and my ears off the folk dance that Adoor Bhasi performed on stage, lip-synching to the voice of the debut of MG Radhakrishnan as a Playback singer.

Continue reading Remembering MG Radhakrishnan and his Songs.