The thing about music is that it has been an essential part of my life through the years. Even though I listen to less music these days, it was more essential during those times when there was not much to do otherwise. Both Hindi and Malayalam music have made my life better during those days when nothing much happened. Even while playing computer games, there was some music playing in the background. These are the songs which go back, just to those end times of the last century. 1980s and 1990s have been the best times related to songs as well as the movies as far as Malayalam movie industry is concerned.
“Rajahamsame” (Chamayam: 1993)
Along with another song from the same movie, “Ragadevanum”, this is not just my all-time favourite song, but part of one of the best movies of the time. Set in the background of the sea, fishermen and drama troupes, Chamayam was one movie which had to courage to be different. I haven’t really liked many movies belonging to the drama or romance genre during the early 1990s, but with its willingness to come up with a different story and follow a path with variety, Chamayam was one of them, and this song has a big role to play in making one falling in love with the movie.
“Ambalapuzhe” (Adwaytham: 1991)
Adwaytham was one of the movies long ahead of its time, but it still did work so well at that time; the songs were also very good, and this one is a special thing – I believe that I have mentioned this song before, but it is the kind of song which you can listen to, and also talk about all the time. During those days of cassettes, one had to work hard to find the music and get it recorded into those empty ones. As I see that cassette shop now, it is now a motor-bike service centre – memories fade for sure, but not when we remember songs like these which are more like the nostalgia of those times.
“Malayali Penne” (Bandhukkal Sathrukkal: 1993)
I have found this song to be a lot like those Malayalam poetry works which we had to study at school. Even though I have been reading a lot of Malayalam works during my childhood, a lot more than the English books, this song happened to be one of those which were so difficult to sing except for the first line. Even though I could never come close to learning most of the words mentioned in this song, I believe that this song has efficiently used the beauty and vocabulary of Malayalam language. I can guess how difficult it will be for a non-Keralite to learn Malayalam – even I had decided to choose Hindi instead of Malayalam for my Plus Two due to the depth of my mother tongue.
“Nee En Sargasoundaryame” (Kathodu Kathoram: 1985)
The first time I heard this song, I wasn’t sure where it was from – happens with a good number of movies which have released before our birth. The movie was an emotional drama, and it wasn’t among my favourites; so coming up against the movie name was always going to be tough – but there was the point when the Doordarshan Malayalam helped by bringing those older movies to us, and then I knew the movie. There are two other interesting songs in this movie and one of them might be the more popular thing, but this one is indeed my favourite.
“Thumbippenne” (Dhruvam: 1993)
I would consider this movie as one the best Malayalam thriller of the last century, telling the story of a man named Narasimha Mannadiyar who goes on a long wait to have his revenge on the wanted criminal and terrorist Hyder who killed his brother. With amazing songs like this one as well as others, this movie is a lot like an all-rounder flick. With a cast that included Mammootty, Suresh Gopi, Jayaram and Vikram in his first Malayalam film, there is no part of this movie which I liked less, and this is one song which you are sure to love. Even the background score was so good!
“Onnaam Raagam” (Thoovanathumbikal: 1987)
There are many more songs to be part of such a list, but I shall end with this – along with “Megham Poothu Thudangi”, this song was always among the big favourites. When we think more about the same, a lot of movies with Mohanlal in the lead had some of the most amazing songs, and they have very well contributed to us liking those flicks even more. If we decide to take the examples, there will be so many of them. As Thoovanathumbikal is one of the most remembered movies of its time and has a certain cult status, the songs have surely played the part here too.
*I would also like to mention “Pon Veene” from Thaalavattam, “Kunu Kune” from Yodha, “Eeran Megham” from Chithram, “Shyaamameghame” from Adhipan, “Athmaavil Muttivilichathu” from Aranyakam, “Pravahame” from Sargam, “Aareyum Bhaavagaayakaraakkum” from Nakhakshathangal, “Ethrayo Janmamayi” from Summer in Bethlehem, “Nilaave Maayumo” from Minnaram and many other songs.