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Tuesday, May 15, 2001

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A big draw...from yesteryear

By M. Harish Govind

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, MAY 14. The singer of yesteryear, P. Susheela, who won the prestigious Kamukara Award for lifetime achievement the other day, is still a huge favourite with the audiences here.

The last time that Susheela performed in the State capital was in a live show that brought together some of the all-time greats of Malayalam film music in January last. After Jesudas, Susheela was without a doubt the biggest draw.

Susheela sent the gathering into raptures when she sang the all- time hit `Kaattil, ilam kaattil, ozhuki varum gaanam...', which she had rendered under G. Devarajan's baton for the film, `Odayil ninnu'.

She also sang other golden oldies such as `Enthinee chilankakal...' and `Pathivayi pournami thorum...', as the packed audience listened in pin-drop silence. Her mellifluous voice had but slightly been affected by age.

The veteran struck an instant rapport with the audience and she smiled almost beatifically throughout. Her joy seemed to be prompted by the adulation that she received from the gathering.

Susheela's duets with Jesudas have a special charm about them and she has herself remarked about the inexplicable appeal when their voices unite. There are a lot of them : `Kalpanayakum yamuna nadiyude...', `Arabikkadaloru manavalan...', `Vrichika raathrithan...'

The singer also sparked off a small controversy in her own onoffending way after the announcement of the first K. J. Jesudas award. She told this newspaper in an interview soon after that the award should have gone to the veteran P. Leela rather than to Jayachandran.

She hurried to say that she did not want to hurt Jayachandran. ``He is a talented singer and like a younger brother to me. We have always had great love and regard for each other. Maybe, the second or third Jesudas award should've gone to him.''

Susheela plans to concentrate on classical singing henceforth.

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