“Daliya Pookkale Chumbichu” – Nizhalattam (1970) – Malayalam Feature Film

Composition Extraordinaire & Voice Immortal Series (2)
“Daaliya Pookkale Chumbichu” (Nizhalattam – 1970), Voice: P Susheela & Composed by G. Devarajan

A Rare treat to our Ears & Inner Soul. That is exactly what I would call this Composition. Though I originally decided to pick Rare Hidden Gems from the 50’s and 60’s, I couldn’t resist this extraordinary meditative/trance like number. Hereon, I will also cover Ma Saraswathi’s Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada repertoire as well. I am not quite sure as to how many of us out there are quite familiar with this silent masterpiece. I discovered this piece by accident a while ago and since then I have become addicted to this song.

No introduction is needed on Maestro Devarajan’s body of work (Pithamaha or Grand Sire of Malayalam Cine Music), as he has widely experimented with Carnatic Ragas in his Compositions for over 300 films, a feat indeed. Susheelamma was his favorite singer and the two have collaborated to produce many immortal gems that still rules the heart of the masses and many modern day composers consider him their Guru. Somewhere in a reality show the Maestro’s name is mouthed at least once a day. Such is the profound impact of a man who scaled the peaks of Malayalam Film Music with his sheer brilliance and command over the Carnatic Ragas. He had an uncanny knack of blending the carnatic ragas and light music thereby creating monolithic orchestral melodies. Listen to “Sravana Chandrika” when time permits.

In the mentioned song, three genius (s) are at their work meticulously sorta friendly battle- Vayalar Rama Varma, Ma Saraswathi Susheelamma & of course G. Devarajan. What is that I am addicted to in this song: It’s simple & composed in Raga Mohanam (Raag Bhoop) – music, voice & importantly the Lyrics with a dose/tinge of sanskritism. G. Devarajan let Susheelamma and Vayalar play around each other with their own extraordinary abilities and there was born a hidden masterpiece.

Song: Daliya Pookkale (ഡാലിയാപ്പൂക്കളേ )
Movie Name Nizhalattam (നിഴലാട്ടം )
Composer: G Devarajan (ജി ദേവരാജന്‍ )
Lyricist: Vayalar (വയലാര്‍)
Vocals: P Susheela (പി സുശീല )
Raga: Mohanam (മോഹനം )
Actors: Prem Nazir, Sheela

Daaliya pookkale chumbichu chumbichu
daahichu nilkkum priya manoraajyame
hemaaambaraadambaraangiyaay nilkkunna
hemantha raatrithan mugdha soundaryame

odakkuzhalin swaraamrithamo kayyil
omar khaiyyaminte munthiri paathramo
shelly rachichoranaswara kavyamo
cholluken sankalpa kaamuka manthramo?

udyaana pushpa kireedangal choodumee
vidyaadhara streekal paadumee ratriyil
paattukal panchenthriyaatheethamamoru
bhaava soundaryam vidarthumee ratriyil
vreela vivashayay anthappurathinte
vaahtil thurakku thurakku nee premame

ninkaal nakhenthu mareechikal ekayaay
pinthudarunnu njan divyanuragame
marbilum maahendra neela ratnangalum
maamaka swapna mayookha shathangalum
vaari pathicha nin swarga harmyathinte
vaathil thurakku thurakku nee premame

vaathil thurakkooo……thurakooo neee…..premame……..

daaliya pookkale chumbichu chumbichu
daahichurangum priyamanorajyame…..
hemambaraadambarangiyay nilkkunna
hemantha ratrithan mugdha soundaryame

For a veteran like G. Devarajan, he chose to keep his orchestration simple, nothing complex or out of the ordinary, but yet very creative – an atmospheric ambience. However what astonishes me is the way he had extracted the essence of nectar from our Ma’s voice word by word & syllable by syllable (audibility-diction-clarity). She carries the weight of the song on her shoulders. One is blown away, the way she croons “Mundhiri Paathramo” or “Priya Manoraadhyame” or “Hemantha Rathri” or “Kamukha Manthramo” or “Moorgha Soundaryame” or “Vidhyadhara Sthreegal” or “Maahendra Neela Ratnangalum”. Oh boy, how did she get them right everytime? Once Vayalar’s words passes through Ma’s vocal chords, they acquire a special tonal significance (reverberations).

How can we ever repay this Ma Saraswathi for her contributions? Never…..we will always be indebted to her. Some may argue that G. Devarajan’s measured tempi may be a little bit slow. But he shows his meticulosity in this recording by showcasing all of Vayalar’s poetry and Ma’s trance like vocals making it nothing less than magical.

At the end of last charanam, the music stops and Ma recites the pallavi – this is one of the composition’s most touching moments. Suffice it to say that Ma ultimately sings well and brings this piece to a melodic and affecting conclusion.

I don’t know what else to say except that all the cosmic elements are here. Every component of the recorded cinematic experience – composer, lyricist, musicians, and a songstress with an ultimate divine voice – exercising mastery at world-class levels. If one cannot appreciate the genius (s) of these three, there is something stubborn inside us. It feels like listening to Puccini’s “La Boheme”…all over.

Now, you know what to do……..Try to recall Ma’s feelings, sincerity and intentions in her rendition.

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