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Song of the Day # 337

From: bb (@ on: Wed Nov 19 02:01:14 EDT 2003

Song of the Day: thoduvadhenna thendralO malargaLO from Sabatham.


- Saravanan writes:

‘Thoduvadhenna thendralo malargalo’ from Sabatham. Crooned by SPB. Conceived by Kannadasan. Crafted by GKV.

As we have seen earlier, GKV had become a permanent fixture in the ensemble of MSV-TKR from their very first film. He was given due credit as their assistant in the titles in their films in those early years. His undeniable talents could not be hidden under wraps for long. Even as early as 1952, he composed music independently for a Malayalam film, which was also dubbed in Tamil as Nadigai.

And though tfm wasn’t yet ready to entrust him with independent music composition, Kannada filmmakers were quick to discover the spark in him, and eagerly harnessed his talents. The titles of the 1955 film Sodari starring Rajkumar (his second film), Pandaribai and GV Iyer had the credit for Music being shared by HR Padmanabha Shastry & GKV. The following year saw GKV
enjoying a stupendous success with the music of Viswakala Chitra’s Ohileshwara (stg. Rajkumar & Sriranjini). GKV also gave PBS a marvelous break in kfm. (“GKV was the person who launched me as a successful singer in Kannada”, acknowledges a grateful PBS). GKV soon became a prolific MD in Kannada, and along with TG Lingappa and Vijayabhaskar, set new standards of
film music there. His works in Haribhaktha-1956, Anna Thangi-1958, Jagajyothi Basaveshwara, Dharma Vijaya, Mahishasura Mardini-all 1959, Ranadhira Kanteerava, Dasavathara-both 1960, Kanntheredu Nodu, Kaivaara Mahaatme-both 1961, Bhoodaana, Karuneye Kudumbada Kannu- both 1962, Kanya Ratna, Gowri, Kulavadhu, Malli Madhuve, Kalitaaru Henne- all 1963, won

GKV got an opening in tfm in 1964 to compose music for Thirumagal Films’ Magale Un Samathu. (Dir: PA Kumar) Though the film starring Anandan & Rajasri was a massive flop, GKV’s songs showed the stuff he was made of. ‘Anbil aaduthae’ (PBS/PS), ‘Unga manasu oru dhinusu’ (Jamunarani), ‘Kadhai ondru sollava’(PS), Nallathukku kaalamillai (TMS), ‘Annamidum karangalinaal’(Soolamangalam Rajalakshmi/LRE), ‘Thatha thatha’(Manorama/LRE), ‘Sirayilae oru kuraiyillae’(TA Mothi/ SCK), ‘Aavo
gulamiyon’(TMS/TV Rathinam) were the array of varied songs that the album comprised of.

The same year, Anandan himself produced a film under the banner Anandan Movies. And he assigned to GKV the music score of this film Naanum Manithan Thaan (Dir: AS Rao). And though this film too (Stg. Anandan, Chandrakantha, PandiSelvaraj, Sheela) sank without a trace, GKV came up with some lingering numbers like ‘Vaa vaa vaa en thalaiva’(TA Mothi/SJ), ‘Kaatru varum
kaalamondru’ (PBS/SJ), ‘Naanum manithan thaanada’(TMS) and ‘Indha indha nillu’(TMS/LRE).

The following year saw only a solitary Tamil film coming GKV’s way, and that too was because it was produced and directed by the renowned GV Iyer, with whom GKV was working with in a number of Kannada films. GV Iyer Productions’ Thaayin Karunai starred Kalyankumar and a Kannada actress called Vandana, and had some wonderful songs- ‘Netru nadanthathu’(ALR/SJ), ‘Poonthendral isaipaada’ (PBS- when SL and I mentioned this classic song, PBS closed his eyes in nostalgia, and said proudly that he had sung the Kannada original too), ‘Oru kodi paadalukkum’(SG) and ‘Neram kaalam sariyaa irundhaal’(Jamunarani).

Unfortunately for GKV, all these three films were not commercial successes, and the merciless gates of Kodambakkam were closed once again for this gifted composer. However, he continued creating immortal melodies in Kannada films, where he was much sought after by the top banners of the day.

* * * *

It was only after a long wait that Deivanayagi Films’ Sabatham- 1971 brought him back into reckoning in tfm. The film starring KR Vijaya (produced by KRV too?), Ravichandran,TK Bagavathi (in a dual role), Nagesh, Anjalidevi and others was directed by P Madhavan. In Chennai, it proved a modest success in Paragon, Crown & Bhuvaneswari theatres where it was released, and did brisk business elsewhere too. It was a fairly engrossing tale of how KRV, assisted by Ravichandran and Nagesh, avenges her father’s death and her own humiliation at the hands of the wily TKB. The other songs were ‘Aatathai aadu puliyudan aadu’ (ALR/LRE/GKV), ‘Aadum alaigalil’ (SJ) and ‘Nenjukku needhi undu aiyanaarae’(SG/LRE).

‘Thoduvathenna thendralo malargalo’ showcases GKV in his elements—the riveting prelude consisting of those dainty string bits that are repeated throughout the song, the masterful way in they are seamlessly interwoven into the fascinating interludes, while the interludes themselves are so unpredictable and enticing in their progression-- And SPB brings such a cajoling mood to the lines, that you just have to fall in love with the song- listen to his voice beam in the end, and the longing that he
expresses, almost akin to a wistful sigh, in the short humming that leads back to the pallavi. Class!

And to think that this song, that conjures up such a spectacular panorama on a listen, was so disgustingly crass and unimaginative in it’s filming - Ravichandran enjoying a kinathadi kuliyal, singing and dreaming of his love, and our Punnagai Arasi stealing surreptitious glances at him, with her trademark bashful smile. P Madhavan seemed to have learned very little from his years of apprenticeship under Sridhar :-(

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