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Poetic songs of Kamala Suraiyya

N.J. NAIR

Music director M.G. Radhakrishnan has set Kamala Suraiyya's verses to music.


A fractured voice, a broken artefact and a bruised soul are more alluring. Kamala Surayya



KAMALA SURAIYYA: Singing through her poems.

Kamala Suraiyya's verses can now be sung, thanks to music director M.G. Radhakrishnan, who has scored the music in the album `Suraiyya Padunnu.'

"Kamala was celebrating her life and she had shocked many of her contemporaries with her firm resolve to speak up on many issues. Beyond the reflection of this indomitable will, I sensed the melancholy, anguish and yearning for love in the poems that revolted against the conventional form of writing. I was awed by the strength of the poems that are written straight from her heart, but scoring music for poems written without meter was a real challenge," says Radhakrishnan.

First album

The first audio album of her poems, `Suraiyya Padunnu' brings the poetess and her poems closer to the hearts of connoisseurs of poetry and music. Suraiyya does not mince her words in the prologue when she says that she has not got her due in Malayalam.

Suraiyya says in the introduction, that she yearned to sing but could not. The music in her mind found expression as poems and even those written without meter have an innate music that directly touches one's heart. "A fractured voice, a broken artefact and a bruised soul are more alluring," she says.

The album comprises 10 poems including `Suraiyya Parayunnu,' `Kinavu Kanda Radha' and `Premam Mathram Matham.'

Arundhathi, K.Omanakutty, P. Susheela and Sreedevi have rendered the poems. Suraiyya says, the album is the materialisation of a long-cherished dream. Poetry and music complement each other and the ragas chosen by Radhakrishnan make the poems poignant and appealing. According to Radhakrishnan, he selected the ragas after sensing the emotion in each poem.

"This was an unique assignment. Composing prose-like poems is no easy task and I was slightly apprehensive. But I had an inspiring meeting with the poetess. I repeatedly read the poems to get a feel of the emotional undertones and then I selected the ragas. Keralites have seen only one of the many facets of the poet. How many of us have the temerity to daringly confess our feelings? She has it and that is proof of her nobility. Fascination for music was our common meeting ground," he says.

The poems have been composed in `Sudha Panthuvarali,' `Sindhubhairavi,' `Revathi,' `Kalyani' and `Shahana.' Recently, Radhakrishnan called on the poet. "She clasped my hands and was emotionally overwhelmed. She told me `Your music is so endearing to my heart, I fall into a trance on listening to the album. It is a splendid experience,"' he recalls.

"What more do I want? Perhaps this is the greatest recognition that I have got in my career. If my music has helped her rediscover the strength of her poems, my mission is a success," he says.

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