Saturday, November 10, 2007

B and a Malayalam song

Yesterday (November 9) afternoon I came across a DD Malayalam presentation of original sound track of Vayalar cinema songs. When I switched on the TV it was, to my disappointment, the last part of ‘Sanyasini’. Fortunately, another immortal song followed – ‘Chakravartini’ from the movie ‘Chemparathi’. It brought back some memories.

One was of my late friend whom I shall call B for the sake of anonymity. This big made man was a hero of Cochin sixty years back. Those days he used to be known as ‘Kaloor’ B. He was captain of the Maharaja’s College football team and a student leader. Later he became a successful businessman.

I came to know B only in 1979 and soon we became friends. Within the tough exterior he had a heart of gold. Those days some of us used to have occasional musical evenings. They were informal gatherings where anyone could sing. The problem however was that some who could sing didn’t know the lyrics and others who could not sing but knew all the words. So, once in a way, we invited as guest an outsider who could sing. On one such evening B was also present.

The guest artiste was good and rendered several popular numbers. After a while B said, “Those are okay, but sing a really good song.”

“Suggest one please”, the singer said.

B thought for a moment and responded, “That song where the girl leaves her shoes outside and goes in”.

Most of us did not catch on immediately. But the singer did and came out with ‘Chakravarthini’. He sang it very well. B was happy and so were all of us.

I have heard a story about the origin of the song but can’t vouch that it is true. The movie ‘Chemparathi’ was produced by SK Nair. He was an exporter, industrialist, and publisher. He also had a hotel named Neela at Quilon.

Vayalar Rama Varma and some of the key people who were connected with the movie were at Neela. SK was worried that Vayalar had not written the lyrics yet. He went across to the bar where the poet was and requested him to speed up. Perhaps Vayalar was a bit irritated at being chased. He asked for a piece of paper and sitting on the bar stool, wrote ‘Chakravarthini’.

Whether this story is real or not, the lyrics created by Vayalar are great.


Also see:

Malayalam songs: Lyrics

Malayalam cinema: Random thoughts

1 comment:

Anand said...

Dear Mr.Abraham,
I am too young by all reasons to be refering to you by your name,but its Anand here, a 30 year old from Muscat. When I am writing this comment to your blog, I have the Chakravarthini song running in the background. Its not that I am commenting for the song but for the nostalgic memories you have for this song.Who ever this Mr B was, my respects to him and also to you Mr Abraham for having added an additional reason to appreciate this song, and the lyricist and to those golden years of Malayalam movies where mortal souls dedicated their life to bring melodies to us. Keep the blog and I am there as a reader. Thank you very much.