Year 2016: Best of Songs

Here is the list of my favourite Malayalam songs from the year 2016.

10. Pookkal Panineer – Action Hero Biju

This one sung by K J Yesudas and Vani Jayaram has a nice touch with Nivin Pauly and Anu Emmanuel featured in it, as beautiful visuals of the city accompany the melodious tunes, making it a top song from the first quarter of the year, and maintaining a fine spot till the end of the year.

9. Njanum Njanumentaalum – Poomaram

Poomaram will have Jayaram’s son Kalidas Jayaram in his debut in Malayalam movie, and it is itself a moment that many people might have been waiting for – with that expected to happen next year, this song has surely made a big impact, with the same being listened to, at so many places ever since it was uploaded on the internet.

8. Neermizhiyil – Maalgudi Days

Directed by brothers Vivek, Visakh, and Vinod in their directorial debut, this was one flick which deserved more attention, and this song is just one of the reasons why that had to happen. Janaki Menon won the Best Child Actor (Female) at Kerala State Film Awards 2015 for her performance in this movie.

7. Payye Veesum – Aanandam

Filled with newcomers, Aanandam is that risk that Vineeth Sreenivasan decided to take, and it did come out successful too. Along with being a light-hearted romantic comedy, this one also had the support of some wonderful songs, among which this one should be the favourite for most people.

6. Ee Sisirakaalam – Jacobinte Swargarajyam

There happens to be more than one interesting songs in Jacobinte Swargarajyam, the most popular one being “Thiruvaavaniraavu” – but I would personally prefer this one, as there is so much of feeling of togetherness in this one – if there was to be one full family song for everyone, it had to be this.

5. Mala Mele Thirivechu – Maheshinte Prathikaaram

With this movie being so close to life, the songs also had to have the same quality, and this is one that makes sure about the same. The lyrics as well as the scenes of this song proves the same. This should be the best Malayalam movie of the year, and this is one of the two popular songs from this flick.

4. Thennal Nilavinte – Oru Muthassi Gadha

Nicely placed in the movie, this song has all it takes to catch our attention. “Thennal Nilavinte” is that kind of a song which impresses us through our eyes as well as the ears. Inside a feel-good movie with a message, this song becomes a boost, bringing us that needed feeling.

3. Neelakkannulla Maane – Kochavva Paulo Ayyappa Coelho

In the movie that marks the return of Udaya Pictures to the Malayalam cinema after a long time, we have Kunchako Boban and Anusree starring in this song. This was one of the most talked about songs during its release, and in a movie that has minimum romance, this song stands apart, as a special one.

2. Kathangal Kinavil – Darwinte Parinamam

One can be sure that people had different opinions about this movie, as I know those who have liked this one as well as disliked it a lot – but there is no doubt about the quality of this song – it provides us with that kind of a special feeling. For me, there is more to love this song, which I don’t intend to reveal.

1. Mazhaye Mazhaye – James and Alice

This movie might have had more negative opinions than positives, even though I am yet to watch the flick. But this is surely one song which caught my attention the first time itself and I have had it on my mobile phone’s music player for a long time. With Prithviraj and Vedhika on screen, the song about the rain makes it big!


Music: Through the Years

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.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.


Songs of the Stars

There are many singers who have acted, and there are those who can both act and sing. We have been blessed with people like Vineeth Sreenivasan who have done not just both, but has also been the successful director and screenwriter. But there are only a few who have made more impact as actors and are known to be performers, but have managed to sing in their flicks too. Among the songs sung by these actors who have proved to be multi-talented, here are my favourite songs. These were the ones which managed to be in my playlist for long, and I didn’t know that most of them were sung by the stars when I first heard them. Even though I like the first song better than the rest, the numbering is only for the sake of it, and not meant to evaluate the quality of these songs.

1. Ee Mizhiyimakal: Angels [Indrajith Sukumaran]

This song deals with the sequences of the fall and rise of the main character who is a police officer named Haider who was last in search of a serial killer. Spread over the time period of him being injured and removed from the case due to external pressure to his return to the police force, I find this song a heavy inspirational one which I listen to very often. I have always found Indrajith Sukumaran to be the one actor whose movies do bring some variety, and still there are so many good movies with him in the lead which were less appreciated. Angels was one of them, and Naku Penta Naku Taka was pretty much another one being an above average thriller; Up & Down – Mukalil Oralundu was also okay and Outsider a simple and smart tale, but less noticed yet again.

2. Aashichavan: Punyalan Agarbathis [Jayasurya]

Here is a song from one of those part-inspirational movies which happens to be among the feel-good movies which made quite a big mark. The lines of the song as well as the visuals are reflections of the dreams of the protagonist who hopes to make it big at a time when things are not working for him. Along with Su Su Sudhi Vathmeekam, this one of the special movies of Jayasurya and it ran at the theatres for quite a long time. About this one, it was clear that he was singing the song, and we can easily conclude that it is one of his most successful movies as the solo hero.

3. Chundari Penne: Charlie [Dulquer Salmaan]

This one works mostly due to the overal mood of the movie which supports songs like these, and in the end, the song has been done in such a way that it is different and works for the audience very well. Those who have watched the movie and has developed something special for the main characters of Charlie and Tessa will love this one even more. Dulquer has made the right decision to sing this one, because his character in the movie could easily take this one as part of the many things that Charlie had accomplished. This is my second favourite song of the movie with the other one already mentioned earlier in another post here. Maybe this one will inspire more actors to sing!

4. Aattumanal Paayayil: Run Baby Run [Mohanlal]

This song was undoubtedly one of the best of 2012, and we had this one in our mobile phones for a long time. Dealing with the relationship between two news reporters as well as the twists that happen in their lives related to the reporting of one particular news, this movie was one big blockbuster of the year, and this song followed that trend. The movie is also one which is a lot recommended as a thriller. Featuring Mohanlal and Amala Paul, this song competed with some big ones to reach this status of being still one of the most listened to songs around. Another fact is that it is not just a song loved by the fans, but by a lot of the family audience.

5. Kaane Kaane: Puthiya Mugham [Prithviraj Sukumaran]

This is from the movie which happens to be one of those earlier mass entertainers of Prithviraj. I don’t consider this movie to be that grand, but it was an enjoyable affair, while this song as well as the other songs from this movie were really good. It came as quite a surprise during that time to see Prithviraj singing, even though the actresses like Remya Nambeesan and Mamta Mohandas singing were not. I do feel that with these songs around and the style also being present, this movie had the potential to be something better, but it decided to go the way of the mass.

6. Kuttanadan Kaayalile: Kaazcha [Kalabhavan Mani]

You might remember this one a lot. Kalabhavan Mani is known for singing some of those traditional songs during the television programs and stage shows, but it was never known to me that he was one of the singers who were behind this song. If your memories go a little more behind, you will remember that this was one of the superhit songs in a much appreciated movie. Almost all the functions and stage programs had this particular song present there. I remember that our Onam programs after the release of this song had multiple people singing this solo. This is rather an exception made here with this name, but he is also more popular as an actor, as you know.


Old Songs: Of Nostalgia

***Favourites from the old songs list.

Ambalapuzhe: Adwaytham (1991)

During my childhood, I have never loved a song like I have loved this one. I wonder if there is such a song which has peace as well as divinity running through it. I had actually gone through a really tough times to get this song recorded on a cassette. But it was really worth it in the end. There is a certain amount of cuteness running through this songs, even though the movie maintains full seriousness. I love the lyrics a lot too. With a fine star cast, the movie was also something to watch without fail.

Ragadevanum: Chamayam (1993)

Telling the story of fishermen who are part-time stage actors, this movie was one which unexpectedly became a favourite. There is so much of powerful dramatic performance in this movie, and the beauty of the songs come up as a big asset here. As Manoj K. Jayan and Murali brings the performance to a higher level, it is this song and “Rajahamsame” which steal our attention. Still, the other song in this movie remains the more popular one, and this one caught my attention much later.

Thumbi Penne: Dhruvam (1993)

In this movie which I consider Mammootty’s best ever, there is an interesting list of cast, including Suresh Gopi, Jayaram and even Vikram as Gauthami plays the leading actress. The movie has some of the most powerful moments among all those flicks of the time, but this songs remains beautiful in a simple way. This is a movie which I highly recommend, and this is one of the two beautiful songs from the film. You can’t really take the nostalgia out of this song. The movie was also Vikram’s debut in Malayalam.

Ponveene: Thalavattam (1986)

Somewhat based on One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and also remade in Hindi as Kyon Ki along with having a Tamil remake too, this movie had a strong impact at that time, and also has some interesting songs, among which this is one of the two more beautiful ones. “Ponveene” will surely come at top in many lists. There is another version of the same song in the movie. I remember this as one of the first songs I have heard which had a long lasting impact on me. Two other songs will follow below.

Onnam Ragam: Thoovanathumbikal (1987)

I know the other song in the movie, “Megham Poothu Thudangi” as the more popular one because of its rain imagery and the presence of Sumalatha as Clara. But I choose to go this one because it has been part of my life more than the other. It is another one of those rare songs which seem to have a certain amount of divinity, and also striking the nostalgia elements of a past when life was not that complicated and things had a lot better direction. I never really stopped listening to this one!

Thamarakili Paadunnu: Moonam Pakkam (1988)

I don’t know if it is because I know what is going to happen in this movie as I have watched this one quite a number of times – the song provides a mixture of feelings. the other song “Unarumee Gaanam” also comes up with the same feeling. There are times when I wonder which one of these is my favourite, but it has been a difficult job to choose. The emotions run strong with this one, and we miss beautiful songs like this one these days – lets hope to get the glory back both with the songs and the movies!

Mayatha Marivillitha: Ulladakkam (1991)

This one was one of those songs which made me feel a lot of happiness. I have felt that this one had a lot more bliss to provide that any other song. There is a lot of optimism in this song, even as the movie does have a rather tragic finishing. There is something like a certain hope against hopelessness here. We need songs like these to come up in movie nowadays, but we are forced to listen to just very few good songs every year, nothing really getting to a top level.