“Madhu Madhura Adhara” – Manku Dinne (1968) – Kannada Feature Film

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

A Sultry & Coquettish Number from  P Susheela – P B Sreenivos – Vijaya Bhaskar Trio!

Manku Dinne (ಮಂಕು ದಿಣ್ಣೆ) is a 1968 Kannada Feature Film, directed by K. S. L. Swamy (Ravi) and produced by A M Sameevulla. The film stars M Kalyan Kumar,  B Vijayalakshmi (Vandana), Balakrishna, Jayashree, Narasimharaju & Dwarakish in lead roles. The film had musical score by the legendary Vijaya Bhaskar with lyrical support from Chi. Udhayashankar.

Vijaya Bhaskar (ವಿಜಯಭಾಸ್ಕರ್; 1924–2002)  wrote musical score for several mainstream and experimental feature films in the Kannada film industry. Scoring music for over 600 feature films, Vijaya Bhaskar worked in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi (G V Iyer’s Vivekananda), Malayalam, Marathi, Tulu (Koti Chennaya) and Konkani language films as well.  He was also known for his collaboration with acclaimed directors Puttanna Kanagal and Adoor Gopalakrishnan. Influenced in his formative years by orchestral works of Bengali composer Raichand Boral (considered the Father of Indian Cinema Muisc) and Mukul Mehta, Vijaya Bhaskar developed his own technique panache and introduced the concept of theme music in Kannada film industry. In the 50’s B/W era, Vijaya Bhaskar  assisted music directors like Naushad Ali, Chitragupt and Madan Mohan.He is credited for motivating producers to embrace mainstream works of celebrated Kannada poets (such as D.R. Bendre) through his music. Some of Bhaskar’s most popular soundtracks include Rani Honnamma, Santha Thukaram, Gejje Pooje, Mana Mechida Madadi, Belli Moda, Naandi, Sharapanjara, Naagarahaavu, Shubhamangala, Neela and Malaya Marutha. He directed music for avant-garde movies like Grahana, Yellindalo Bandavaru and Naandi.  Acclaimed Malayalam movie-maker Adoor Gopalakrishnan always handpicked Vijaya Bhaskar for his movies – Kathapurushan, Vidheyan and Mathilukal. In Hindi Bhaskar did G. V. Iyer’s Vivekananda. He was also a recipient of Karnataka State Film Award for Best Musical Score six times.

Lyrics: Chi. Udyashankar/ಚಿ ಉಧಯ್ಶಂಕರ್
ನಿನ್ನ  ಮನಸು
ಈ ಕನಸು ನನಸಾಗ ಬಾರದೇ
ಮಧು ಮಧುರ ಆಧಾರ ಸೋಕೇ
ಕಣ್ಣ ಮುಚ್ಚಾಲೆ
ನಲಿ ನಲೀಢ ಒಲೀಢ ಭಾಲೇ
ಸುಖಧ ಒಯ್ಯಲೇ 
ಕಣ್ಣು ಕಣ್ಣು ಸೆರೆ
ಮೌನಧ ನುಡಿಯಲ್ಲಿ
ತುಟಿಯು ತುಟಿಯು ಸೆರೆ
ಮಾತಧಾ ಇನ್ನಲ್ಲಿ
ಕಾನಾಧ ಈ ಅನುಭವವು
ಅಸಯ್ಯ ಎಧಯಲ್ಲಿ
ಒಲವಿನ ಗೀತಾಯೇಧೆಲ್ಲ
ಒಸಾಧಿ ಭಾಲಿನಲಿ
ಮೈಗೇ ಮೈಕೈ ಸೇರಿ
ಕಂಪನ ತನುವಳ್ಳಿ
ನಿನ್ನ ಏನೋ ಭಯಕೆ
ಮೂಡಿಧೆ ಮನಧಲ್ಲಿ
ನನ್ನಾಣೆ ಕಾಣಿಕಿಯಾಘಿ
ನಿನಗೆ ನೀಡಿರುವಲ್ಲಿ
ನಿನ್ನ ಭಯಕಾಯೇ ತಡಯು
ಎಲ್ಲಿದೇ ಇನ್ನಿಲ್ಲಿ
ಮಧು ಮಧುರ ಆಧಾರ ಸೋಕೇ
ಕಣ್ಣ ಮುಚ್ಚಾಲೆ
ನಲಿ ನಲೀಢ ಒಲೀಢ ಭಾಲೇ
ಸುಖಧ ಒಯ್ಯಲೇ 
ninna manasu
e kanasu nanasaaga baaradhe
madhu madhura adhara soke
kanna mucchyaale
nalainali nalidha olidha bhaale
sukhadha oyyale
kannu kannu sere
mounadha nudiyalli
thutiyu thutiyu sere
maathadha innalli
kaanadha e anubhavavu
asaiya edhayalli
olavina geethayedhhella
osadhi bhaalinali
mygae mykai seri
kampana thanuvalli
ninnu eno bhayake
moodidhe manadhalli
nannane kaanikaiyaagi
ninage neediruvalli
ninna bhayakaye thadayu
ellidhe innilli

Pictured on Kalyan Kumar & Vandana, Madhu Madhura Adhara is one such piece de resistance from Vijaya Bhaskar. There’s something about this song but its beat (use of percussion instrument bongos) and slow burn (hammered dulcimer-santoor & xylo) are too inherently seductive to ignore.  P Susheela & P B Sreenivos’ lead vocals are the real ripper-sybaritic and vulnerable all at once. This composition’s concupiscence lies in its romanticism, and it also captures the chastity of the time perfectly.

When the instruments fade away and leave only Susheela & Sreenivios, they sound positively breathless; their exhalations nearly suggestive. The opening verse “You and I are interknit,” (“sudha ninna manasu e kanasu nanasaaga baaradhe”) – stitches a sensual sinew fortitude. Dulcimer ripples over the entire orchestral score along with quiet strings – the song breathes its life weaving into an sirenic macrame (“kannu kannu sere mounadha nudiyalli thutiyu thutiyu sere maathadha innalli”) – it’s all organic.

Sreenivos’s pleas are desperate from beginning to end, playing out almost in slow motion, as if he’s been suspended in a blissful vocals of Susheela (some jazzy snaps) as those lyrics burn up. He is at his most passionate (“kaanadha e anubhavavu asaiya edhayalli olavina geethayedhhella osadhi bhaalinali”) and adult-sounding. Susheela’s smooth, breezy vocals lend just the right amount of sultriness to lines – (“nannane kaanikaiyaagi ninage neediruvallininna bhayakaye thadayu ellidhe innilli”) – vulnerability can be balmy sometimes. Captured forever on camera- in the moment vocals – the sight of a beautiful woman, the desire, the depreciation, causation – but the way Susheela sings it by virtue of her sheer style – the delicately unfolding four minutes – sort of a “quiet storm”.

A golden oldie, so pure & intimate……..

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