“Anuraagam Anandadhaala” – Mullu Puvvu (1979) – Telugu 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.

The Captivating Visual Realism & P Susheela Voicing Organic Love

A cult classic, Mullu Puvvu  (lit trans. The thorn and the flower) is a dubbed 1979 Telugu language drama motion picture (the original being Tamil feature film Mullum Malurum) written and directed by J. Mahendran. The film considered a milestone, starring Rajinikanth, Sarath Babu, Fatafat Jayalakshmi and Shoba, marked Mahendran’s directorial debut. The diegesis  is based on neoteric Umachandran’s sixties  novel of the same name published in the Tamil weekly, “Kalki”, though Mahendran divagated from the original plot. The scenario devoid of plethoric melodrama, narrates the bond – oedipal affinity – between a married protagonist brother and his sister  focusing on visual texture, realism.

With their first collaboration, Mahendran relied on Ace lensman Balu Mahendra’s cinematography, who powerfully captured the celluloidal images and fluid movements (natural backdrops, candy colored visuals, rich warm effulgence, the luminous close ups) – windows into the heightened emotional state of a character clinging to his humanity. The film intentionally defied orthodox Tamil cinema routine, discarding ingredients which Mahendran abhorred. The ne plus ultra was Maestro Ilayaraaja’s soundtrack through which the lead characters communicated their emotions (instead of the usual verbiage).

Ilayaraaja, a ballsy experimenter immortalized the film’s musical score. With a treasure trove of discography under his repertory, he literally revolutionized the Indian film music industry with lush orchestras, classical techniques, polychromatic instrumentation & iconic melodies for the dynamic audiences. He changed forever the structure, character, and brilliance of the modern Indian film score. His Mullu Puvvu score remains an iconic achievement in Indian movie music till date.

Winner of the National Film Award for Best Actress (for her portrayal in the motion picture ‘Pasi”), Shoba conquers a scene by entering it, bringing a audacious dynamism to all of her performances. She is pellucid, unsheltering her characters right down to their bare nerve endings. She has a uncanny knack to bleed for the characters that is so puissant  that she transports the solicitude along to the audience. Naturalism was her signature in every character she played on celluloid.

 anuraagam anandhadhala looge
andhala venuvaaye naa manasu uppongi poye
chiruvaalallai yedhavelluvainadhi
gagananige nanegaramannadhi
anuraagam anuraagam
na rogaanangha ne tholise deivangha naalo neevundangha
nee inti deepanga nee gunde dhahangha neekai nevundaga
mangalya bhagyam vedalunnadha noorellu cheddhamu ee pandaga
anuraagam
gudiloke cherali alupantha theerali jharighe povalani
edhalona naa nindali badhilangha undali bruthuke kondalani
ennanu devallu ne mrokhano pravunna swarganu ugincheno
anuraagam
anuraagam anandhadhala looge
andhala venuvaaye naa manasu uppongi poye
chiruvaalallai yedhavelluvainadhi
gagananige nanegaramannadhi
anuraagam anuraagam

Lyrics: Rajashri
అనురాగం ఆనందధాల లూజ్
అందాల వేణువాయే నా మనసు ఉప్పొంగి పోయే
చిరువాల్ళలై ఎదవెల్లువైనది
గగననిగే నానేఘారామన్నది
అనురాగం అనురాగం
న రోగానంగా నే తొలిసె దేఇవంగా నాలో నీవుండంగా
నీ ఇంటి దీపంగా నీ గుండె దాహంగా నీకై నీవుండగా
మాంగళ్య భాగ్యం వెడలున్నదా నూరేళ్లు చేద్దాము ఈ పండగ
అనురాగం
గుడిలోకి చేరాలి అలుపంతా తీరాలి ఝరిగే పోవాలని
ఎదలోనా నా నిండాలి బదిలంగా ఉండాలి బృతుకే కొండలని
ఎన్నను దేవుళ్ళు నే మ్రొక్కనో ప్రవున్న స్వర్గాను ముగించెనో
అనురాగం
అనురాగం ఆనందధాల లూజ్
అందాల వేణువాయే నా మనసు ఉప్పొంగి పోయే
చిరువాల్ళలై ఎదవెల్లువైనది
గగననిగే నానేఘారామన్నది
అనురాగం అనురాగం

Often considered the standout track crooned by P Susheela, it is the crème de la crème that showcases her vocal finesse  (Tamil version by Jency Antony titled “Adi Penne”). The mere mention of this song conjures images of Shoba  against the nature’s canvas depicting a fearless woman sprinting around engulfed in an aura of innocence and mysticism around her.

For the song sequence “Anuraagam Anandadhaala” featuring actress Shoba both Balu Mahendra and Mahendran settled on a montage. A sultry ballad, this courtship ditty is a upbeat, catchy tune that packs plenty of poetic imagery,  is an irresistible earworm. Susheela captures the enduring nature of organic love and the yearning that comes with it – Ilayaraaja’s cascading violins and spiraling woodwind prelude reminds of us of the intense gathering of monsoonic clouds rushing to pour its heart out – anuraagam anandhadhaala looge”a simple, but with vivid warm overtones.

Listen to that “naa manasu uppongi poye chiruvaalallai yedhavelluvainadhi gagananige nanegaramannadhi”Susheela’s melodic hymn of perseverence, intrigue and all-consuming love – her quinta essentia! No one can forget the simpler times of the 70s. A vocal powerhouse, skillfully harnessed by Ilayarajaa, he lets her soulful voice steal the spotlight for this orchestral work, as Susheela leads the way with her definitive sentimental declaration – na rogaanangha ne tholise deivangha naalo neevundangha nee inti deepanga nee gunde dhahangha neekai nevundaga”pure bliss!

Eavesdrop on that devotion and longing ingudiloke cherali alupantha theerali jharighe povalani edhalona naa nindali badhilangha undali bruthuke kondalani”adoration and bravura, Susheela’s tone delves into the idea of finding refuge with her amorcito for all of eternity – she moves in a subconscious way, just unforgettable.  Though her repertoire  under this composer is limited, many of the atypical scores he created for her are deeply ingrained into the collective cinematic psyche.


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