Nine poems penned by former minister Binoy Viswam, are to be released in the music album Harshamo Dukhamo later this month

Poetry and politics, despite appearing to be two disparate worlds, seem to have a lot in common. Binoy Viswam, former minister and Communist leader, is one of those politicians who makes effective use of words in matters of persuasion and in effusions of his heart.

Nine poems of Binoy Viswam, set to music and sung by Priya R. Pai will appear in the music album Harshamo Dukhamo set for release this month.

This is not the first time that Binoy Viswam is writing poems. One of his poems had appeared, along with those of T. N. Prathapan and M. K. Muneer, his colleagues in politics, in the album Priye Pranayini. But this is the first time that Binoy is writing for a complete album.

Binoy does not think that there is a duality anymore. “I have been writing political poems and songs for my party for many years now. I believe that sometimes a good song can spread the word around more effectively than a long speech . It is a good way to cement the message in the minds of people. But writing something out of this field has been a recent attempt,” says Binoy.

Almost three years back Binoy was being interviewed by popular Carnatic vocalist Priya R. Pai for a television channel. “This was for a Vishu programme. The chat veered to music. That was when I asked him if he could recite a Vishu poem. He did and I set it to music and sung it. He told me that he written a few poems . I told him then we could think of making an album sometime later,” says Priya.

The album produced by Saveri Audios has nine of Binoy’s poems. “Most of them are on Nature. Then there are love poems and one on the very topical violence against women. If you ask me I think poetry comes much easier to me than writing an article. I have realised this on numerous occasions. There was this Music for Harmony function at Nadapuram the other day. I was asked on the day I was to board the train to write a poem that could be recited for the function. I was pleasantly surprised that I could do it in the train and it turned out well when sung on stage,” says Binoy.

A composer hits a block when the lyrics are not musical. “In Binoy Sir’s case this did not happen at all. All of them had a definite tala making it so easy for me to set it to tune. I have tried not to turn them into songs leaving it like poems with minimum orchestral backup,” informs Priya.

For someone with no formal training in music Binoy feels that this is natural. “I think it must be inborn. I love music. It provides a relief during all the stress and struggles of life. Writing poems has that cathartic effect.”

The album will be released at the Ernakulam Press Club on April 9.