Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Song of the Day #270: ThingaL maalai veN kudaiyaan from Karumbu

Expand Messages
  • Balaji Srinivasan
    Song of the Day: ThingaL maalai veN kudaiyaan from Karumbu. 1. K.J.Yesudas version:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      Song of the Day: ThingaL maalai veN kudaiyaan from Karumbu.

      1. K.J.Yesudas version:

      2. S.Janaki version:

      - Venkat writes on this song:

      cilappathikaaram (Epic of the Anklet) - kANalvari

      For no reasons, some music get etched in memory. Some melodies keep haunting every now and then,
      even though it is ages since last listened. One of those rare gems is a movie song "thingaL malai
      veNkudaiyAn". I remember vividly that I first listened this song when I was about 13 years old, in
      Srilanka Broadcasting Corporation, Tamil Service 2. I do not know why/how I remember these trivial
      details. It was a weekend; I was sitting down on the floor and doing my history homework. It
      should be between 4:00 and 5:00 pm. My world stopped. I put the pen down and concentrated on the
      song. All that I could comprehend at that age was that the singer is K.J. Yesudoss. I froze the
      moment in my memory (to the mind numbing details of the evening and my history lessons). I might
      have listened to this song few more times, every time only from Tamil Service 2. I never could
      listen this song after 1982. This is the time the Tamil services of SLBC were downsized following
      the ethnic conflicts.

      I came back to this song in 1991, when I was a student in the Indian Institute of Science. This
      was during a casual conversation with my friend Ujjwal Das about composer Salil Chowdhury. He was
      surprised when I informed that his favourite Salilda has scored music to a handful of Tamil movies
      (thUraththu idi muzhakkam, azhiyaatha kOlangaL, karumbu). He wanted to listen to those songs, I
      had the first two and my quest to acquire the third began then. It is about 12 years since then, I
      finally have a copy of the songs from karumbu; thanks to the Internet.

      This song was recorded for Karumbu in 1973. The movie was never released and was supposed to be
      directed by Ramu Kariat of chemmeen (malayalam) fame. There is also a S Janaki version of this

      Since 1999, with the advent of the Forumhub, I speeded up the search. There were few others who
      reminisced about this song, but none of them had a copy of it. When I moved to Toronto, I used to
      seek this song with all my Srilankan friends. Movie songs were (are?) never broadcast in All India
      Radio before the movie itself was released. However, SLBC never had any qualms about pre-screen
      broadcasting. In fact, several movies became instant hits as the songs had already become popular
      thorough SLBC-TS2.

      By now, my interest in this song has grown many fold as I started developing a passion for Tamil
      literature. I was involved in e-texting the first part (mathurak kANtam) of cilappathikaaram for
      Project Madurai and had the pleasure in contributing this great epic. I Started sending emails to
      everyone whom I thought, may have a copy of this song. This is strange for someone who is no big
      fan of KJ Yesudoss and who despises his Tamil pronunciations in songs.

      Finally, I had my luck when I visited a site devoted to Salil Chowdhury. I overcome my initial
      reservation in asking someone whom I never knew, gathered enough courage to write to Gautam, who
      developed this excellent site. Within a day, he replied. For the first time I heard from someone
      who has a copy of this record!! He was willing to send me a copy of those songs once his PC is
      back in action. Yes, he did. Within a week, I had the copies of both the versions of this song. I
      did some noise editing and tagging so that I could propagate its glory.

      * * *

      cilappathikaaram and kANalvari are the beginnings of what we consider as the early Tamilisai (the
      roots of Carnatic music). The exact date of cilampu is not known but is rated between 400-700 AD.
      The work has 6 chapters on music: aRangetRukAthai, kaNalvari, vEnirkAthai, vEttuvavari,
      kunRakuRavai and aychiyarkuRavai. It also talks extensively about instruments, song structures,
      meters, stage dimensions and settings. There is no other Indian work that is so descriptive of the
      days music and dance. Illango adikaL also used kalippA extensively and very imaginatively. KalippA
      (with its tharvu, koccakam, thaazicai...) is what metamorphosed into the classical raaga
      structure. In more than one sense cilampu was a trendsetter of the day (it is an epic about
      ordinary folks, not about a king). It has very well developed dramatic elements. cilampu may also
      be one of the highly misunderstood epics in Indian literature. Prof. Indira Parthasarathy argues
      that it was not the intent of illango adikaL to glorify kaNNaki and goes on to prove how ordinary,
      unimaginative, self-centered she was (to the extent of using her chastity as a currency for her

      That is how kOvalan finds mAthavi - not only stunningly beautiful and talented but also capable of
      intelligent conversation, something kaNNaki was incapable of. The passages in kANalvari best
      exemplify this. It all start as simple verbal play between the pair that is enjoying itself in the
      festive atmosphere in the beach. Soon, kOvalan comes out, unable to hide his inferiority in front
      of the femme royale mAdhavi. Words stretch and kOvalan misinterprets mAdhavi�s simple playfulness
      (in the light of his inferiority) and leaves her company. Cilampu enters its second chapter, where
      the travails of the human life take the centerstage.

      * * *

      Salil has tuned several great songs. I am sure this lesser known is one of his great contributions
      to the Indian Film Music. Here is a song, supposed to be for a movie in Tamil, and one of the
      oldest lyric ever tuned for a motion picture. The singer is KJ Yesudoss (MalayAlee), the other
      version is sung by S Janaki (Telugu) tuned by Salil (Bengali), for a movie to be directed by Ramu
      Kariat (a MalayAlee). Yet, the song has perfectly captured the forlorn spirit of kANalvari and the
      grand epic. Yesudoss has come up with an impeccable rendition. The song is loosely based in
      chakravaaham (one the generic carnatic raaga).

      The variation of this by S Janaki is missing the emotional undercurrent of kANalvari and has a
      more celebration mood to it, with chorus in the interludes. I guess Salil should have been briefed
      about kANalvari, that it takes places in a beach and during a carnival atmosphere. He has
      attempted two variations, one manifesting the emotions and the other the locale. But kANalvari
      lyrics have more emotive desolateness to them and Yesudoss� version stands out easily, bringing
      out the emptiness of kOvaln�s heart.

      * * *

      I must conclude this thanking Gautam again for preserving this song and willing to share it with
      someone who is interested in it.

      * * *


      ����������� - �������
      ����� ���� ���������
      ����� ������� �������
      ���� ����� ��������
      ����� ���� ������.
      ���� ����� ��������
      ����� ����� ��������.
      ���� ���� ����������
      ������� ���� ������.
      ���� ���� ���������
      ������ ������� �������
      ���� ����� ��������
      ����� ���� ������.
      ���� ����� ��������
      ����� ����� ��������.
      ���� ���� ����������
      ������� ���� ������.
      ���� ��� ������
      ������ ��� ���������
      ����� ��� ��������
      ������ ���� ������.
      ����� ��� ��������
      ���� ����� �������
      ���� ��� ������
      ���� ���� ������.

      - This is a strange coincidence. When Venkat was trying hard to get this song, I was too. I was
      trying to get this song for the past few weeks. I contacted GV in Canada, who is an ardent KJY
      fan, and he had this song. He was very helpful and sent me the KJY version of the song in an audio
      cassette. It was great listening to the song after a long time, and I kept playing it again and again!

      Visit http://www.tfmpage.com/ and http://www.dhool.com/ for Tamil Film Music.
      Go through the Song Of The Day archive for beautiful, melodious and rare songs: http://www.dhool.com/sotd_archive.html
      To (un)subscribe to SOTD, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tfmpagesotd/
      I am putting up a Kamba Ramayanam verses each day for discussion at http://www.forumhub.com/tlit/23260.08.41.18.html .
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.