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Songs of the Iron Horses

For old-timers, the song "Vandee vandee ninneppole...'', sung by Mehaboob in the 1963 film, "Doctor'', still invokes pleasant memories of the old steam locomotive that puffs through the palm- fringed State.

The Southern Railway has come out with 12 superhit railway- related Malayalam film songs of yesteryear to coincide with the observance of 150 years of its history.

``Maamamalakalkkappurathu...'' (Ninamaninja Kalpaadukal''), sung by P. B. Sreenivas, "Theevandi...'' (Snehathinte Mukhangal'' and "Naalikerathinte Naattilenikkoru...''(Thurakkatha Vathil'') are among the superhit Malaylam numbers included in the audio cassette.

``Ellaarum pokunnu...'' ("Anjali''), "Theertha yaatra...''(Anaadha Silpangal), "Eenampaadi...'' ("Sneham'') and "Urakku paattin...'' ("Anubhoothikalude Nimishingal'') are the other hits that evoke nostalgia for the Iron Horses and which find a place in the cassette.

The songs are all from the Malayalam films that were released between 1963 and 1979. Of the 12 songs, seven had been rendered by Jesudas.

It devolved on the cine actor-turned director, Balachandra Menon, to release the cassette. Menon, who got the national film award for portraying a station master in his hit film "Samaantharangal'', handed over a cassette to the Divisional Railway Manager, K. K. Srivastava, at the Divisional Headquarters.

Menon went on to play the hit sung by Mehaboob, also the first in the cassette. Recalling his "romance'' with the Indian Railways, Menon narrated his trips down to the city from Kollam, where his father was employed in the railways.

``The walk along the platforms use to give me the impression that it was all my father's property,'' he added.

By Anil Radhakrishnan S

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