Remember the scene where Parvathy goes to meet Dulqer in the malayalam movie Charlie? Its a festival called pooram a.k.a thiru-aadi-pooram.
Pooram is a festival held at a temple in Thrissur on the day of the pooram star. This year it falls on April 17th, that is today. One of the major events in the festival is the pancha vadhya melam performed by more than 200 artists.
One of the songs sung during the festival is Kanthaa njanum varaam… Below is a link that I believe is how the original folk song is sung. (very feeble, raise volume and listen).
During an interesting conversation with a friend, who blogs at https://devadhaithozhan.wordpress.com/, I learnt the meaning of this song. It is about a person (probably a girl) pleading Kaanthan to take her to the Trissur Pooram festival. She lists out the reasons as to why she wants to make it to the festival and what she would do there. She says, she wants to see pooram; wants to be with Kaanthan in the pooram crowd; wants to listen and play the percussions of pooram; wants to see the fireworks, et al.
I just wondered why a song about a girl talking to her guy, be sung and performed by a bunch of men. Weird. If only someone could explain.
Enough wondering about the meaning, this post is about the chronological versions this folk song has evolved to; though my story started the opposite way.
There are a couple of malayalam movie references to the song, though I have not seen the song been fully used.
Then came the Masala Coffee band which was started two years ago, which did a cover for this song. The song starts off with the lead vocalist Sooraj Santhosh playing an intro in a kazoo. The entire song sounded to me like a fusion of classical and rap, there is a bit played in esraj, and the flavours brought out of the same old song are so refreshing and scintillating. (do I sound like a cook-off’s judge here :O) The folk song took a good turn at this juncture – the Masala Coffee version remains my favourite to the day.
This song which typically has flair of ragas Sankarabharanam and Yadhukula Kamboji, got a language variant that was released in Tamil. A movie Uriyadi, that was released earlier this year, had music composed by the very same band, and they have used one of their trademark compositions and made a tamil version out of it. The song, also starting Kanthaa, was written as a funny take on the middle class challenges. However, I wasn’t sure if the lyrics did fit into the existing composition. That being just my opinion, the tune does seem to have stuck on and created the magic. Listen to the same in the link below.
Wondering where would Kantha go from here?! Hopefully to somewhere nice 🙂 Kanthaa njanum varam…
P.S: Esraj and Kazoo are musical instruments, whose name I learnt only while reading up for this post!