‘Maveli naadu vanidum kaalam…..’, the favored Onappattu that celebrates the spirit of Onam, harks backs to an egalitarian previous when the land was dominated by a simply ruler, King Mahabali. Completely different variations of the tune have been sung in several methods however the déjà vu it evokes stays the identical, whether or not it’s sung by veteran playback singers or the newest music bands in Kerala.
In cinema, music, dance and artwork, this tune has been interpreted by many artistes and every has captured the intrinsic really feel of a harvest pageant that resonates with the ethos of the folks of the State.
James Thakara, frontman of music band Thakara, imbued the lyrics with a colloquial appeal together with his band’s rendering of the lyrics. Says James: “Each time we sing this quantity, it by no means fails to strike a rapport. There’s an innate music within the lyrics that holds up the concept of an excellent State that we’re all striving to attain.”
A sentiment that’s shared by Varun Sunil, founding father of music band Masala Espresso. He says although he’s based mostly in Mumbai, as quickly because the verses are hummed or sung, even non-Malayalis get the overall really feel of the tune that’s soaked within the vibe of Onam. The tune was additionally heard within the movie Mahabali (1983), when P Madhuri sang the favored verse beneath the baton of MK Arjunan.
Nevertheless, the title of the poet who penned these lyrical traces is mired in debates and discussions. Whereas a piece of students of Malayalam attributes these verses to Sahodaran Ayyappan, a disciple of Sree Narayana Guru, there are others who really feel that the lyrics are older than that.
Poet and educational V Madhusoodanan Nair says the verses are more likely to have been composed within the mid-17th or early 18th century by the then ruler of Thrikkakara. “Because it occurs with many elderly verses and songs, over time, the traces might have been modified and interpreted by regional bards,” he says.
Music critic TP Sasthamangalam factors out how songs have at all times been an intrinsic a part of the Onam celebrations by means of the people dance of Thumbithullal, the sturdy beats of the songs through the regatta in Aranmula and the country numbers that should have been sung by kids gathering flowers for the floral carpets made in properties.
Setting the tempo
Poet-lyricist Prabha Varma recollects an upbeat tune sung by oarsmen of the Aranmula Vallamkali, a ritualistic, annual boat race that’s held yearly in honour of the deity on the Sree Parthasarathy temple in Aranmula.
“The majestic chundanvallams would race forward within the waters whereas the oarsmen sustain the momentum with people songs often called vanchi paattu which have been tailored by a number of songsters. However my favorite is the tune that goes ‘Aranmula Bhagavante ponnu kettiya chundanvallam, attilitta thannu pokum, thottilitta thottu pokum, paadathittal pakshipole parannu pokum’. For all those that grew up on the banks of the Pampa, Onam is the season of flowers, feasts, music and boat races,” he says.
So Kerala is on tune throughout Onam. Within the eighties, had been composed particularly for this season, numbers which have develop into part of the collective consciousness of Kerala. Latter-day poets and lyricists have additionally celebrated the pageant in verse and lots of of these seize the myriad methods the pageant is well known all throughout Kerala.
Tharangini, a recording studio arrange in Thiruvananthapuram by eminent playback singer KJ Yesudas, was maybe the primary to launch a set of songs yearly for Onam. “The primary album that got here beneath the label ‘Onappattu’ was launched in 1981. It had songs, written by ONV Kurup and composed by Alleppey Ranganath, all sung by Yesudas himself. It was an Onam reward from the maestro,” says TP.
Album of nostalgia
One of many evergreen albums from Tharangini was ‘Ulsava Gaanangal Vol.1’, which had Sreekumaran Thampi writing the traces for Ravindran Grasp’s music and sung by Yesudas. ‘Uthradappoonilave vaa’, ‘Ennum chirikkunna Sooryante…’, ‘Paayippattattil vallam Kali…’ and ‘Oru nullu kaakkapoo…’ had been immortal songs on this assortment.
Yearly, this album of Onam songs, written and composed by nice lyricists and music administrators, was a lot awaited by music lovers. In 1986, ‘Aavanippookkal’ was a record-breaking album that had lyricist Yusufali Kechery teaming up with composer MS Viswanathan, provides the critic.
In that class of songs is ‘Thuyilunaroo, thuyilunaroo’ in a long-playing document launched by HMV, which had lyrics written by Sreekumaran Thampi and music by veteran V Dakshinamoorthy. Sung by Yesudas, the tune is on the highest of singer-composer Sithara Krishnakumar’s listing of favorite Onam-based songs. Though, it was not a festival-based assortment, it continues to reign supreme as a quintessential Onam tune.
Malayalam movies have popularised a number of numbers which have develop into the staple for Onam programmes. One such tune chosen by bass guitarist Ashok Betty Nelson (Thaikkudam Bridge) and vocalist-songwriter Gowry Lekshmi is ‘Onappaattin’ within the movie Citation, directed by Vinod Vijayan. Composed by Sabish George, the tune’s visuals are a pleasant mélange of vignettes of Onam. ‘Thiruvavani Raavu’ in Jacobinte Swargarajyam is the newest addition to the listing of Onam songs that grew to become chart-busters. There are a number of such songs that resonate with the festivities.
The enchantment of sure olden goldies like ‘Poovili poovili’ and ‘Onappoove’ is common. Each the songs are sung by Yesudas and tuned by Salil Chowdhury. The lyrics of ‘Poovili’ is by Sreekumaran Thampi whereas ‘Onapoove’ by ONV.
The pandemic may need muffled the celebratory songs of Onam, fairly a bit this yr, however come the pageant, these evergreen songs resonate in each coronary heart.