We have always celebrated our rich language, the diversity of our culture and people through songs. On the occasion of the State’s birthday today, MetroPlus talks to a few young singers about their favourite numbers that reflect the true spirit of Kerala

Tony John, Lead vocalist, Avial band

My favourite is the old melody ‘Keralam, Keralam, Kelikottuyarunna Keralam…’ [from the 1977 movie Minimol, composed by G. Devarajan, with lyrics by Sreekumaran Thampi]. It is a quintessentially Malayali song, one that brims with nostalgia. I have liked it ever since I heard it as a child and always the first one that comes to mind when I think of songs regarding Kerala. I like such songs that celebrate the spirit of Kerala, of being a Malayali.

Najim Arshad, Playback Singer

‘Keranirakalaadum Oru Haritha Charu Theeram…’ from the Sibi Malayil movie Jalolsavam, with music by Alphons and sung by P. Jayachandran. It’s got a beautiful melody, in raga Saraswathi, that immediately transports you to the backwaters, expansive greenery, swaying coconut palms, snakes boats and so on that make Kerala so unique. I have sung this song for ganamelas, in fact, I often sing it as an opening number for such events and, without fail, it always brings a smile on the faces of the listeners.

Sachin Warrier, Playback singer

One of the most striking songs on Kerala is Asianet’s theme song ‘Shyama Sundara Kera Kedara Bhoomi’, one of the handful of songs in Malayalam composed by A.R. Rahman. It was released when I was quite young, when the cable TV phenomenon had just started in Kerala. I remember I always used to sing along with it whenever it was played. It’s the people of Kerala that inspires the singer in me, our sense of identity, togetherness, the harmony in diversity…and the food too, definitely.

Mridula Varier, Playback singer

I love the song ‘Thumbayum thulasiyum kudamullappovum…’ from Megham composed by Ousepachan sir. It is a song that I have sung a lot, especially for stage programmes. A peppy number, rendered beautifully by Chithra chechi, the song draws a beautiful picture of Kerala. The best thing is that Gireesh Puthenchery sir has captured all the pristine beauty of our land, its flowers, the nature…

Gayatri, Playback singer

Among new songs, my favourite song on Kerala is ‘Keranirakalaadum Oru Haritha Charu Theeram…’ a peppy number composed by Alphons. But the one song that evokes nostalgia is ‘Maanathe, mazhamughil…’, sung by P. Susheela in the film Kanappanunni. It is not made to celebrate the state as such, yet this song evokes nostalgia whenever I hear it. It seems to symbolise and celebrate the state. Its music has that intrinsic feel of the folk music of Kerala. Composed by Raghavan Master, this song never fails to move me.

Sithara, Playback singer

I have two favourite songs. ‘Maamalakalkkapurathu…’ from the movie Ninamaninja Kaalpaadukal and ‘Shyama Sundara…’, the theme song of Asianet. The first song, composed by M.S. Baburaj, has a simplicity that tugs at your heart. The lyricist [K. Bhaskaran] has conveyed his thoughts so lyrically, there is a love and longing for the land in those lines. And P.B. Sreenivas sir’s voice makes the song all the more beautiful. ‘Shyama Sundara…’ came as a breath of fresh air, as it also heralded the television revolution in the state. The A.R. Rahman piece, sung by Kalyani Menon and Sujatha, is so melodious. It sketches the beauty of the state so well.