Thursday, December 29, 2011

Nee En Sarga Soundaryame - Kathodu Kathoram

There are many songs you really don't notice, although you have been hearing it on and off. It doesn't really strike you. Then comes a moment, when the beauty of the song unravels and suddenly you understand the song much better, or hear it with a different set of ears. And then you say to yourself, 'Gosh, how hadn't I noticed this!'

A few days back, one such song revealed itself to me. I was watching Idea Star Singer on Asianet, and in the segment involving celebration of Dr. K J Yesudas' 50 years of singing, one of the contestants sang this song. And that's when I listened to it carefully. And I was moved. Nee en sarga soundaryame has a very 'Christian choir song' flavour to it, and truly so - because it's meant for the same, in the movie. Just watch the video below, and you'll see how it didn't become a typical 'choir' song, at that! But even without that distinction, the song very strongly evokes devotion and sense of surrender in front of the Almighty. It's beautifully composed, and there's not a single time since then, that I haven't felt something stir inside me on listening to it.

The trademark bit, of course, is the tune that is played on the Violin. I watched Ouseppachan's (the Music Director) interview on TV the other day, and he discussed this song. This was his debut movie as composer, and the first song he tuned. Being an expert violinist himself, he recorded a rough version on tape using the violin and sent it to Bharathan (the movie's director) who immediately liked it. Call it a coincidence of sorts, but the movie's lead character, Louis (played by Mammootty) was supposed to be a violin artist, and this song fell right into place! Divine intervention, if you could call it. This song, and two others from the same movie (Kathodu Kathoram and Devadoothar Paadi) went on to be huge hits.

And even though it has the strong 'Christian choir' feel to it, what's noteworthy is that the lyrics aren't. They are quite religiously neutral. And in many ways, that makes it universal - I love that. And most importantly, the comparison it draws - The Lord is the real Beauty, He is the Music. We are all nothing but His manifestations (=man-veena ) created by Him to sing His praise in different tunes. It was probably so written, keeping the lead's character in mind; being an instrumentalist, this could be an analogy that meets the situation.
(Probably atheists and their ilk would want to debate on this comparison. But of course, I don't want to digress; I am here to say  why I like this song).
I also liked the part where he compares the sky and the earth to His Devalayam, and the stars to the burning candles(okay, so here maybe they are indeed referring to a Church, after all! But hey, it's subtle, right?).

Last but not the least, I'd like to hand it to Dr. K J Yesudas - he has sung it with absolute reverence, respect and devotion. That goes for any religious song he has sung - Harivarasanam, to Oru neram enkilum or any other.

Credits -
Movie: Kathodu Kathoram (1985)
Song: Nee En Sarga Soundaryame
Lyrics:  O N V Kurup
Music: Ouseppachan
Singer: K J Yesudas, Lathika

Here's the video -

Nee en sarga soundaryame
Nee en sathya sangeethame
Ninte sankeerthanam sankeerthanam
Oro eenangalil paaduvaan
Nee theertha manveena njaan

Poomaanavum thaazhe ee bhoomiyum
Sneha laavanyame ninte devaalayam
Gopuram neele aayiram deepam
Uruki uruki mezhuku thirikal chaarthum
Madhura mozhikal kilikal athine vaazhthum
Melle njaanum koode paadunnu...

Thaalangalil deva paadangalil
Bali poojakkivar pookkal aayenkilo
Poovukal aakam aayiram janmam
Nerukil iniya thukila kanika chaarthi
Thozhuthu thozhuthu tharala mizhikal chimmi
Poovin jeevan thedum sneham nee...


Anonymous said...

Cool!! very nostalgic.... no, nostalgic is not the apt word here... aah!! as u have put it, a feeling of divine intervention when one hear this song!!

Vinitha Valsalan said...

Thanks Anon :)

Kevin said...

One of my all Time Favs.....Thanx !!! U re-winded time for Me

Vinitha Valsalan said...

Welcome Kevin - glad to know that this song has other lovers as well! :)

NBlogger said...

dJ said...

Hi Vinitha,

In the movie just before character of Mammooty tunes his song , Nedumudi gives another version of this song saying this looks like a church choir song . Do you happen to know which song that tune is from ?

Happened to hear a very similar tune in Kannada movie : Godhi banna saadharan maykattu and hence the question