“Kinaavinte Kuzhimadathil” – Doctor (1963) – Malayalam Feature Film

Creative Commons License
Faded Into Oblivion Series by Vicky Iyengar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

“No other singer has sung my compositions as she (P Susheela) has. The rendering has been perfect,” – Composer G Devarajan`s Tribute to The Southern Nightingale!
“Kinavinte Kuzhimadathil” (കിനാവിന്റെ കുഴിമാടത്തില്) – Doctor (ഡോക്ടര് 1963) – Carnatic Raga: Shivaranjani – ശിവരഞ്ജനി (Hindustani Kafi That) – Voice: P Susheela (പി സുശീല ) – Lyrics: P Bhaskaran – Composer: G Devarajan

Doctor is a 1963 Malayalam feature film, directed by M. S. Mani and produced by H H Ebrahim. The film stars Sathyan, Sheela, K V Shanthi, Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair and T. S. Muthaiah in lead roles. The film had musical score by G. Devarajan. The film received a Certificate of Merit at the National Film Awards. The story and screenplay were authored by Vaikom Chandrashekaran Nair (aka Vaikom). Vaikkom was a multi-faceted personality – a poet, playwright, novelist, actor, orator, singer, artist, and activist. He served as a editor for variegated journals such as Janayugam, Malayala Manorama, Kerala Bhooshanam, Kaumudi, Pouraprabha, Kunkumam, Chithrakarthika, Kumari, and Keralam. Some of his famous novels like Nakhangal, Panchavankadu and Madhavikkutty have been turned into movies. The play Jathugriham was given the Kerala Sahithya Academy award in 1980. He was chairman of Kerala Sangeetha Nadaka Academy from 1978 to ’81. In 1999 he was given the Kerala Sahithya Academy Award for lifetime contribution. Vaikkom has written more than 60 books. Some of his major works include “Kuttavum Shikshayum`, “Alohari`, “Thanneerpanthal“, “Miss Mayavathy“, “Nakhangal“,“Panchavankadu“, “Madhavikkutty“, “Smrithikavyam“, “Ashramam“, “Mamanka Rathri`, “Jathugriham“, “Anubhavangale Nandi“, “Gothradaham“, “Kayeente Vamsham“, “Swathi Thirunal“.

Winner of J. C. Daniel Award by the Government of Kerala For his overall contributions to Malayalam cinema, Actor, Lyricist & Filmmaker Pulloottupadathu Bhaskaran (aka P Bhaskaran) has penned more than 3000 songs for about 250 films apart form directing 44 Malayalam feature films and 3 documentaries. P. Bhaskaran’s debut as a lyricist was for a Tamil film. He wrote the Malayalam lines for a multi-linguistic song in film Aboorva Sahodarargal starring M K Radha in dual roles (1949- Gemini Studios). His first Malayalam film song “Madhumadhuri” that he penned for the film Chandrika (1950). He collaborated  with director P. Venu in his films Viruthan Shanku (1968), Virunnukari (1969), and Ariyapedatha Rahasiyam (1981) and produced some evergreen songs. In 1954, Bhaskaran along with Ramu Kariat directed the film Neelakkuyil, which ushered in social realism in Malayalam cinema. It was awarded the President’s Silver Medal, first ever national recognition for a Malayalam film. He was also accalaimed film director. His films Adyakiranangal (1964), Iruttinte Athmavu (1969), and Thurakkatha Vathil (1971) went on to win National Film Awards for various categories. He also acted in several films including Neelakkuyil.

Libretto: P Bhaskaran

kinnavinte kuzhi maadathil
nilaavathu nilppoley
oru thulli kanneeral nin
kadana kadalothungumo?
padangalil chorayolikkey
paadiyaadi ninnu nee
thee pidichu nizhalennalum
paattu paadi raakkili…
raakkili… raakkili…
swarggeya gaanathaal nin
gadgadangal moodi nee
mandahassa moodu padathaal
kannu neer marachu nee
kandathilla ninte dukham
kan kulirthaa kaanikal
kannu neer thudachathilla
kai kottum paanikal..
paanikal… paanikal…
കിനാവിന്റെ കുഴിമാടത്തില്
നിലാവത്ത് നില്പ്പോലെ
ഒരു തുള്ളി കണ്ണീരില് നിന്
കദന കടലൊതുങ്ങുമോ?
പാദങ്ങളില് ചോരയൊലിക്കെ
പാടിയാടി നിന്ന് നീ
തീ പിടിച്ചു നിഴലെന്നലും
പാട് പാടി രാക്കിളി
രാക്കിളി  രാക്കിളി
സ്വരഗയാ കാണാത്തത്‌ നിന്ന
ഗദ്ഗദങ്ങള് മൂടി നീ
മന്ദഹാസം മൂട് പദത്താല്
കണ്ണ് നീര് മറച്ചു നീ
കണ്ടതില്ല നിന്റെ ദുഃഖം
കണ് കുളിര്ത്ത കാണികള്
കണ്ണ് നീര് തുടച്ചതില്ല
കൈ കോട്ടും പാനികള്
പാനികള് പാനികള്

Excerpts from an Article titled “Ode to a Southern Nightingale” in the “The Hindu“ by P K Ajith Kumar (Reproduced Verbatim):

“Having already made her mark in Tamil and Telugu, her mother tongue, it was perhaps inevitable that she should lend her golden voice to Malayalam film music, which was in its golden period at the time. She conquered the Malayali ear in no time. That debut song in 1960, for the film “Seetha“ , was a smashing hit. It remains arguably the most popular lullaby of all time in Malayalam cinema. “I was determined to make Susheela sing Paattupadiyurakkaam,” Dakshinamoorthy had once told this writer. “I had listened to some of her Tamil songs and was impressed.” G. Devarajan, the greatest composer ever in Malayalam, too was impressed. He began to create masterpieces only for her, just as Madan Mohan did for Lata Mangeshkar, the only singer who has been compared with her. Devarajan and Susheela teamed up for over 300 songs, many of them became classics, such as Rajashilpe (Panchavankaadu), Ezhu Sundara Rathrika (Aswamedham), Enthinee Chilankakal (Karuna), Poonthenaruvee (Oru Penninte Katha), Priyathamaa (Shakunthala) and Maalakhamaar Vannu (Makane Ninakku Vendi ). Susheela does not know Malayalam, but no singer could have given better expression to these songs, most of them penned by Vayalar Rama Varma. She has an uncanny ability to bring out the complete meaning of a song, though she does not know the language. Then, there is the sheer power and sweetness of her voice. She is, in other words, a genius.” (End Article By Ajith Kumar)

Composer G Devarajan’s recherché tune in Carnatic Raga “Shivaranjani” (Hindustani Equivalent “Kafi That”) is simply exquisite. “Shivaranjani” Ragam brings out “Karuna Rasa” (pathos) and lends itself for elaboration and exploration. It has many compositions in classical music and in film songs. The popular Hindi film song “Jaane Kahan Gaye Woh Din” – Mukesh (Mera Naam Joker) & “O Basanti Pavan Paagal”-Lata Mangeshkar (Jis Desh Main Ganga Behti Hain) is based on this scale. “Shivaranjani” was a darling of the legendary composer(s) Shankar-Jaikishan.

Now grab some tissues and take a listen. Pictured on actress K V Shanthi, this cri de coeur turned out to be one of the Southern Nightingale`s crowning jewels. Apathy, Turbulence & Numbness – The featured song (how depression feels like) taps into the heartbroken parts of ourselves that have dealt with the inevitable loss and failure of a relationship.  P Susheela’s voice is the epitome of wistfulness – the moment you will tear up (“thee pidichu nizhalennalum paattu paadi raakkili…raakkili… raakkili…“). This song has so much feeling: pain, heartbreak, heartache, loss, illusion and disillusion—it’s an effective storm-cloud.

G Devarajan`s orchestral sweep (especially the archetypal quadruple reed instrument) and chest-squeezing sorrow of the ululating ballad remains an unforgettable musical marker of “I am not over you” despair (“mandahassa moodu padathaal kannu neer marachu nee“). Through her in-depth interpretations for this lyrics (“kandathilla ninte dukham kan kulirthaa kaanikal“), Susheela makes it easy for the listener to fill in their own tragedy – using her  voice to careen between sadness and pain (by identifying with the lyrics of a sad song, a listener can empathize with the vocalist and understand that others have shared experiences of rejection, loss, unrequited love, misfortune, or other themes characteristic of sad songs”). P Susheela has done quite well for herself by tapping into the power of melancholy. Her voice is dripping with it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s