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Night of the nightingales

Leading playback singers came together to honour S. Janaki and P. Susheela



Accolades O.N.V Kurup felicitating S. Janaki and P. Susheela

As the popular lines of a song (‘Rakendu kiranagal oli veeshi ella Rajanigandhikal mizhi chimmiyilla’) from the film ‘Avalude Ravukal’ filled the Senate Hall, music buffs went down memory lane. Was S. Janaki, seventy years young!

With right pitch and perfect voice modulation, she gave expression to the lyrics of the song.

The occasion was a musical programme titled ‘Ganga Yamuna,’ organised by ACV Channel to honour playback singers S. Janaki and P. Susheela. Poet and lyricist O.N.V. Kurup, who presided over the event, gave them a cheque of Rs.1 lakh each and a memento.

Evergreen melodies

Conceptualised by Vivekanandan and coordinated by Asok Kumar, Ganga Yamuna brought alive the evergreen Malayalam and Tamil film songs of S. Janaki and P. Susheela.

When K.S. Chitra ended ‘Sharike en sharike,’ S. Janaki came on stage to share her experience of singing for Salil Chowdhury.

“Salilda gave me the tune to sing. He could not say the lyrics. Had I sung as per his tune, the words would have sounded different. He wanted me to sing the next line ‘Madala poo poloru manasam njan ennu kandu.’ Then I suggested it would be better if it was just ‘Maadala poo poloru manasam.’ He understood it immediately and asked me to go ahead. He was such a great man.” She did not forget to compliment Chitra for singing the song.

Only when the lyrics are sung with the right expressions will it attract the attention of the listener. That is true of ‘Neeyum vidhavayo,’ a golden number from the film ‘Rasaleela,’ again tuned by Salil Chowdhury. One of P. Susheela’s favourite songs, it was sung on stage by Sujatha.

Songs such as ‘Nakshatra kinnaranmar virunnu vannu,’ ‘Kannil kannil,’ ‘Pannineer kattil tharattu paattil’ and ‘Swapnadanam njan thudarunnu’ were also rendered.

Following requests from the audience, P. Susheela sang a few lines of her immortal songs ‘Paattu padi urakam njan’ and ‘Kannu thurakatha deivangale.’

Youngster Swetha stole the show with her emotive renditions. Her version of of ‘Thane thirinjum marinjum’ had a lot of soul. She also sang ‘Deva daru poothu.’

After Chitra finished singing ‘Unnai kanathe kannu kannalla,’ Susheela complimented her and recalled an incident. “Once Tharangini wanted me to sing for a cassette. When I heard the track, I was surprised by the voice quality of the singer. It was K.S. Chitra. And it was composed by Kannur Rajan. I asked them to retain the song as such.”

Chitra songs for the evening included ‘Eran uduthum’ and ‘Priyathama.’ Manjari’s repertoire of songs included memorable numbers such as ‘Sravana chandrika,’ ‘Manathin muttathe,’ and ‘Ee malar kaikalil.’ Yet another singer who delighted the audience was Kalyani.

The orchestra under Thangan (keyboard) comprised Josey (flute), Lallappan and group (percussion), Francis and group (violin).

G. JAYAKUMAR

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