Malayalam Filmsongs' English annotation
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ദേവികുളം മലയിൽ!


ചിത്രം: തേനരുവി (1973)
സംവിധാനം : കുഞ്ചാക്കോ
ഗാനരചന : വയലാർ
സംഗീതം : ജി ദേവരാജൻ
ആലാപനം : കെ ജെ യേശുദാസ് & പി മാധുരി

Again I need to write from a background of not knowing the story of the film. Yet, the song is simply wonderful, in the way it has been entwined with the cherubic looks of Prem Nazir and the sweet graceful figure of Vijayasree. She moves her divinely chiselled figure for her angelic figured lord of her heart to behold. The splendorous beauty of the surroundings, etched in greenery, blue slopes and the far reaches of the misty horizon, add to the terrific loveliness of the words ‘Devikulammala ദേവികുളംമല’, ‘Thenaruvikkara തേനരുവിക്കര’ and ‘Onnamkunnu ഒന്നാംകുന്ന്’!

The soft breeze in the scene adds to the luxurious content in the words and the scene. Prem Nazir definitely has the physical charm to seduce the eager and keen lass, who darts around kindling unbridle-able aphrodisiac arousals in the beholder.

Vijayasree is seen rejoicing in the effusive liberty that seems to have dawned upon her, the slave-damsel of the wooded hills. A feeling of unrestrained freedom is what she displays. She is shy, coy and also brazen in the way she flaunts her features in unspoken hints to what has been placed in purposeful concealment. Her emancipator evidently is Prem Nazir. He has to unravel her in the many senses of the word.

The lines of the song if relocated into English in their bare verbal meanings might not convey the resounding beauty of the words. Yet, let me try to move them in their total 3-Dimensional content.

On DevikulamMala, which literally means the Mountaintop of the pool of the goddess; by the shores of Theanaruvi, which literally means by the banks of the stream of honey or nectar.

Literally, by the banks of the torrent of sweetened waters on the celestial pool of the goddess!

She rejoins with her words: Oh, Ye Silver-hued divinity of the unbidden, sweet-scented Thazhampoo (പൂക്കൈതപ്പൂവിനുള്ളിലെ വെള്ളിദേവാ!).

He continues: Oh, Kamadeva, (Eros / Cupid), Oh you, goddess of endearment, have you run out of your arrows?

(Incidentally Kamadeva has five arrows – those of allurement or enticement, commotion, set afire, aridity and that of devastation. I think here, Prem Nazir or rather Vayalar RamaVarma is alluding to the arrow of allurement. Moreover, it is seen mentioned elsewhere that his arrows have these flowers decked on them:

Aravinda (White Lotus വെള്ളത്താമര), Ashoka (അശോകം), Cuta (Mango Flower മാംപൂവ്), Navamalika (Jasmine മുല്ലപ്പൂവ്) and Nilotpala (Blue Lotus നീലോൽപ്പലം). I do not know what these flowers are supposed to do.)

She: In the tender soil-bed dug out by the rhythmic twirl of the whirling waters, had I planted my Kumkuma plant. Oh, You who hath pinched the first tendril off from this, I, who had come for sowing in the lower slopes, to you am I shacked in endearment.

His tuneful promise is that thence, ‘You are royalty, and not a bound-to-the-soil slave!’

She: Slicing the tender sprouts of soft rush grass (ഓടപ്പുല്ല്), have I cut the straws one by one (ഓരോ കുഴൽ വെട്ടി). Oh to you, who have eagerly gulped down the honey, I had offered, in the hollows of the bamboo-measure vessel (തേൻ മുളനാഴി)- I, who had come to hold oil wick-lamps for the deity on Onnam Kunnu, am a bound-to-the-soil slave.

He reassures her: Nay, from now on, You are a lady! And not a servant girl of the despotic landlords.

I cannot say for sure if this is a song of pure love or of love interspersed with mutual sensual cravings and offerings. Or that of mere physical seduction! Prem Nazir, though extruding effeminate charm, can definitely enthral the lady with his sweet words and promises of sweeter kisses! Vijayasree does fold her rounded figure to spell out the hidden magic in the creases! Reminiscent of the marble figures of semi-clad Greek goddesses!

Beyond that, it may be mentioned that three geographical locations are seen mentioned in the song. Devikulam Mala, Theanaruvikkara and Onnamkunnu.
G. Devarajan’s music is superb. The tune is fabulous. Both add to make this a great song for listening. The photography is also extremely nice.
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Paamaram PaLunkukondu
പാമരം പളുങ്കുകൊണ്ട്


I think all the songs from Triveni were of fabulous beauty and splendour. Since I have not seen the film, nothing can be said about the background to these resounding song scenes.

There are so many items in this song that can be taken up for discreet appreciation. Both Prem Nazir as well as Sharada has some kind of poetic beauty in their face, expression, form and merriment. It is effeminate charm that exudes from them both. One can't say for sure as to who is more lovely to behold. Is it Prem Nazir? Or could it be Sharada?

What is being portrayed is wayward romance pasted all over the visual space, with the same luscious sweetness of viscous honey that trickle down from wildbee-hive-spouts of the dense woodlands.

Even though there is nothing sensual, licentious or erotic, or even words with naughty undertones in the lines, Sharada's playful bounciness is teeming with an erotic bustle brimming with supernatural overtones. As if mind has met mind, and mind alone, bereft of all physical encasements.

Prem Nazir, though obviously enjoying the attention, acts difficult to entice. However, Sharada can break through the fleeting facade of his fake nonchalance and brittle unconcern.

Houseboats of yore, pushed along with bamboo poles, have become, over the years, a rare sight in many lakes and rivers. Yet, the feel of the swaying waters and the feeble waves in the lakes and rivers, certainly does inject an intoxication of an enticing kind in those who love placid lakes and charming waterways.

Music is by G. Devarajan. Maybe he could enter at will into the ethereal world of the celestial muses, and come out with exquisite tunes and instrumental music of an unearthly pitch and timbre. He has been able to twine out the rustic words into a soft and sweet stream of extremely pleasing melody. The way he has done it, these common pastoral words do curve in and out with a gushing flow, as if they have their own entwining physical form and urges, it does seem.

Vayalar has been able to pull out extremely appealing words from Malayalam itself I think, without having to mine out words from his fabled scholarship in Sanskrit. These words, clothed in splendorous chiming tunes, does add a delicious wrapping upon Sharada's slender features and upon her sharp stunning gestures- so sweet and appealing are they, that the awesome love and affection she postures in her streaming swinging body movements, could simply resound in the viewer’s mind for a long time. Everything in the song does cast a bewitching spell. Even in the way Sharada joins Prem Nazir in his efforts to move the boat! The joyous ring of artless fondness beyond care can be seen, heard and felt.

Words like കണ്ണൻകുളങ്ങരേ, കളഭക്കുളങ്ങരേ, ഏഴാംകടൽക്കരേ, യക്ഷിക്കടൽക്കരേ and such, do attain stupendous deliciousness in the way they have been tuned.

And what are her admissions? That she has loaded the boat with feverish yearnings, for her gorgeous lover, from the sides of the afore-mentioned icy ponds. Placing her kalamudu (കളമുണ്ട്) upon her shoulders and charging her dreamy eyes with her cravings and thirsts, has she taken aboard her beloved.

On to the shores of the Seven Seas, where the winged Sirens await through the ages to lure unwary sailors, has she unloaded tender coconuts and fragrant roses. And then garlanding her beloved with the beaded pearls scooped from the eerie depths of the high seas, has she spread him on her lap. For her to feel and delight in his sweet loveliness.

The way Sharada acts out her affection and her brimming physical urges in brief, and yet stirring movements is both electrifying as well as breathtaking. The way she swings and sways in tuneful oscillations can seduce the eager viewer. She is lovely to the core!
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Thedivarum kannukaLil


This is a song of appeal to Swami Appayyan, who stays far high in mountaintops of Sabrimala, in the stretching stripes of the (once) greenish Sahyadris.

There is a slight intriguing fact to be mentioned about this temple and the deity, Ayyappan.

In Native Life in Travancore, written by Rev. Samuel Matter way back in 1883 (see page no. 200), this shrine on the mountain slope was mentioned to be the temple of the Mala Arayans. These people were not Hindus, if the Brahmin / Vedic religion is to be taken as the Hindu religion.

See this quote from the book:

QUOTE: It has been observed that in cases of sickness sometimes Arayans will make offerings to a Hindu god, and that they attend the great feasts occasionally; but in no case do they believe that they are under any obligation to do so, their own spirits being considered fully equal to the Hindu gods. END OF QUOTE.

Over the years, may be commencing from around 1930s, almost all the populations which did not come under the definition of Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Jain &c. came to be defined as Hindus. Along with this metamorphosis, all their temples and spiritual traditions and Shamanistic practises came to be identified as Hinduism.

Please note that the following is not a word-to-word translation of the song. However, an attempt to gather the total sense of the words of the (Malayalam version) song has been made. So that, even though the lines do not reflect the exact meaning of the words, they move quite near to them.

Thedivarum kannukaLil

Rushing to the aid of seeking eyes!
Concealed in the cascading gleam of holy lanterns തിരുവിളക്കിൻ കതിരൊളിയിൽ കുടിയിരിക്കും സാമി!!
Stirring and enlivening the faded flowers!
Living in shinning campanile shrines!!
Ayyappa Swami!!, Ayyappa Swami!!!

Treading stony hillocks and thorny mounts,
Rousing the villodichan-song-twittering pipit in my insides,
With streaming tears and empty hands
Have I reached here!

Command forever, my safety
And utter thy blessings, for me!
With awe and adoration,
I bow to you,
Ayyappa Swami!!,
My refuge! Ayyappa Swami!!!

You are Vishnu, Shiva, and also Sree Muruga!
You are also Parashakthi and Buddha!
Ayyappa Swami!!!
The ages, the creations and the logics
You are everything!!!

Command forever, my safety
And utter thy blessings, for me!
With awe and adoration,
I bow to you,
Ayyappa Swami!!,
My refuge! Ayyappa Swami!!!

Into my stretching hands
Wouldn’t you pour the teeming riches?
To my dwelling
Wouldn’t you come as my little brother എന്റെ വീട്ടിലൊരു കൊച്ചനുജനായി കൂടെവരില്ലെ?

With feverish passions
We reach your hallowed premises,
Forever be our keeper!
Ayyappa Swami!!,
Our eternal refuge, Ayyappa Swami!!!

Lyricist: Vayalar
Cinema: Swami Ayyappan (1975)
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Hakkana kon amaral
ഹക്കാനാ കോന മറാൽ


Note: Please note that this song is an exception here, in that it is not a filmsong. And also, it might not be a Malayalam song.

This is a song from the antiquity of Malabar. Even though the song has some connection to the erstwhile Malabari language (Malabari language was in olden days known as Malayalam), there seems to be enough and more words in the song that does not seem to belong to the Sub-continent. Maybe there are at least some pure Arabic or Persian words, joined to the Malabari language words in this song.

The name of the lyricist of the song is not known to me. It was my earlier impression that it was a song written by the much venerated Moyinkutty Vaidyar. However, I could not find any such mention or claim online. Frankly, I do not know who the writer of this song is.

Even though the song-lines are not understandable to me, it does seem clear that the theme refers to Prophet Muhammad’s relocation, migration or journey from Mecca to Medina, along with his followers, – an incident generally mentioned as Hegira or Hijrah in Islamic theology and history.

The song does definitely seem to belong to the Mappilla song genre of the Malabari language. The complete words in the song might not be within the ambit of the old Malabari language. However, the tune and general nature of the song does fit into the definition of old-time Mappila songs.

It might be quite interesting for modern Keralites to know that way back in the 1980s, the people of Travancore were not willing to accept that the Mappilla songs were Malayalam songs. In fact, some of my old acquaintances in Trivandrum of those times did very candidly tell me that they could not understand a word in these songs. Even now, the truth is that if pure Malabar words are spoken, it is possible that Travancorean people may not understand it at all. However over the years, everything has changed. Many of the words and verbal inflections of Malabari have diffused into the new Malayalam language.

As for Malabari (old-time Malayalam), it is a fast vanishing language in both north-Malabar as well as south-Malabar. Maybe I should mention that before the formation of Kerala in 1956, Malabar was a district under the erstwhile Madras Presidency and later of the Madras State. And this Malabar itself was a combination of north Malabar and south Malabar. Historically Korapuzha had been the geographical border between these two distinct geographical locations.

Readers who are interested in reading the lines of the song in Malayalam script can visit this link.
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ഏഴരപ്പൊന്നാനപ്പുറത്തെഴുന്നള്ളും ഏറ്റുമാനൂരപ്പാ ....

വരികൾ: വയലാർ രാമവർമ്മ
ഈണം: ജി ദേവരാജൻ
പാടിയത്: മാധുരി


This song is from the cinema Akkarappacha അക്കരപ്പച്ച. Akkarappacha means ''The grass on the other side is greener!''. Since I have not seen the film, I need to write by solely listening to the words in the song.

For some reason or other, this is a song which I have found quite attractive. Words seem to acquire a very rounded and curvaceous rolling feature in this song. Or rather words with some kind of fabulous oily rounded wholesome smoothness are there in this song.

It is not easy to forward the delicious roll of these words into English. In fact, the universal fact might be that all feudal languages do have an eerie tone of sweetness that shall defy all attempts to render them straight into planar languages like English.

Sir W. Ouseley, in his ancient work “Oriental Collections,” (1797) has indeed mentioned that: 'Many of the Hindu melodies possess the plaintive simplicity of the Scotch and Irish, and others a wild originality pleasing beyond description.” (sic)

It might be noted that the Celtic languages of Great Britain might also be feudal languages. The Celtic languages of Great Britain include Gaelic (Scotland), Irish (Ireland) and Welsh (Wales).

As to Sir W. Ouseley mentioning the melodies of South Asia as 'Hindu melodies', it is certainly an error that seems to have sprung up from another erroneous belief of the Continental Europeans and also of the English writers and administrators of the English colonial period. That everyone in this subcontinent, who is not a Muslim, Christian, Buddhist or Jain, must necessarily be a Hindu.

The fabled Ettumanoor Mahadevar temple was quite a famous temple in the Travancore region of South-Asia. Ettumaanoorappan is seen mentioned as Lord Siva. And this song does allude to the Siva-Parvathi fables from the puranic antiquity of the subcontinent. However, there does seem to be some kind of a mix-up between Shamanistic spiritual worship systems of South Asia, and the Hindu (Brahmanical) worship systems, in the words mentioned in the song. However, I am not much sure about this, though.

The temple festival, Aaratt ആറാട്ട്, is conducted on the Thiruvaathira-nakshatra-day (തിരുവാതിരനാൾ) in the Kumbam (February - March) month every year. On the 8th and 10th day of the 10 day festival, the elephant idols in thick gold covering (പൊന്നാന) are brought out and kept for darshan (beholding by the worshipers).

Oh Ettumaanoorappa, to you who enters regally on a parade of seven and half golden elephants (ഏഴരപ്പൊന്നാനപ്പുറത്ത്), my devotion, worship and my total submission (തൊഴുന്നേൻ, തൊഴുന്നേൻ, തൊഴുന്നേൻ), do I place upon thy sacred-naga coiled (തിരുനാഗത്തളയിട്ട) holy feet!

The line does slightly allude to the Naga worship / serpent worship antiquity of the location. In Travancore, many a Nayar household did have a tradition of serpent worship right from the hoary days of yore. Even though it is generally mentioned in a spiritual mood that these divine serpents are different from the terrestrial serpents, it is a fact that a Cobra family or even more than one family used to reside inside Nayar households in a most royal fashion. They were quite tame, and would not attack anyone, unless trodden upon. In fact, they were treated as deified beings, and treated with topmost decency and respect, their every care attended to.

Whether the Brahmins (the real Hindus) also have this tradition of serpent worship is not very clearly known to me. There had been, off course, a lot of mixing up of spiritual traditions between the Hindus (Brahmins) and the various Shamanistic worship systems, over the centuries.

The song is a prayer to Ettumaanoorappan, whose regal entrance and parade is on the seven and half elephant idols spiritual tableau.
When I come in the early daybreak hours, for beholding the propitious sight (കണികാണാൻ) of thy idol dazzling in heady sandalwood - flower carpel - camphor creamy adornment (കളഭമുഴുക്കാപ്പ്), would you not offer me, in the chalice (കുമ്പിളിൽ) of my worshipful hands (തൊഴുകൈ), the holy waters (തീർത്ഥജലം) of the celestial river (തിരുമുടിപ്പുഴയിലെ) that flows from the tresses of thy divine hair-tuft?

This is followed by the Panchaakshara mantra homage to Lord Shiva. Nama Shivaaya! നമഃ ശിവായ! It is a five-letter code mantra. Na Ma Shi Vaa and Ya. What powerful software codes of reality are encrypted into the insides of these letters or sounds is not known. However, interested readers can check this book: Software codes of mantra, tantra, witchcraft, black magic, evil eye, evil tongue &c.

In the Thiruvaathira-day night-hours (ആതിരരാവിൽ), when the divine radiant damsel of the towering Himalayan heights (ഹിമഗിരികന്യക), your betrothed lass Parvathi, drapes your angelic figure (തിരുമാറിൽ) with your much loved Koovala flower garlands (കൂവളമലർമാല്യം), would you not offer me the delicious glitter of thy cosmic crescent, to wear as thy twinkling emblem on my forehead?

Koovala tree is considered to be a divine tree in Shiva mythologies. This tree is a much-loved tree of the Shiva-Parvathi divine duo. It is seen said that this tree is given a place of prominence in Shiva Temples. The thorns of the tree represent, it is said, the Shakthi-figure, the branches the Vedas and the roots the Rudra-form of Lord Shiva.

The lyrics are by Vayalar RamaVarma. As always, his command over words and usages are of the mythical kind. His legendary scholarship in Sanskrit needs no mention. The feel of the boundless infinite, the feel of the unfathomable depth in Shamanistic rituals and also the feel of the inscrutable invincibility of ancient gods, can be felt in the slow paced rolling of the words.

As to the tune and tone of the song, it is also seen set deliberately in a very slow-paced tempo, so as to stay in step with the esoteric tenor of the song and words. The sharp rising and falling din of the distinct drum-beat that accompanies the rolling words also, if heard precisely, does induce a spellbinding affect in one’s mind and sensation. It is another legend who has crafted the tune. Devarajan!
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