A lyrical ode to Kozhikode

The Kallayi river, one of the romantic landmarks of the city, has featured in several film songs old and new in Malayalam. The song Kallayi puzhayoru manavatti… in the 1973 movie Maram directed by Yusufali Kechery and the melody Kallayi kadavathe, kattonnum mindeelle… in the 2004 Kamal movie Perumazhakkalam are among them.

But all these songs are paeans of one landmark or certain characters of the historic city at best. A young and aspiring film-maker from Kozhikode, however, thought that the city that has inspired many writers, artists, athletes, film-makers, and singers deserved a better deal and at least an entire song dedicated to its inspirational past and stirring present.

Shony Roy, an admirer of talented directors such as Renjith and Lal Jose, shared his idea with his friends in the creative circles and the result was a music video named Immini ballya Kozhikode.

Tribute to Basheer

“The very title itself is a tribute to the city’s illustrious Sultan, Vaikom Mohammed Basheer, since a part of it is drawn from his celebrated phrase Immini Ballya Onnu, says the director of the video.

The music video, conceived as a Mehfil programme is led by a young singer enacted by Sudheesh, film actor from Kozhikode. The medley-like compositions comprise pieces of Qawwali, light music, and traditional Mappila songs with its lyrics hailing the glory of the city and praising its illustrious sons and daughters.

Its visuals start from a round-shaped rain-shelter on the beach, where the Mehfil takes place and gradually moving on to different attractions of the city such as the Mananchira Square, railway station, Tali temple, Cathedral Hall, Mishkal mosque, Kallayi River, and the radio station.

Time and space have also been given to a majority of celebrated names associated with the city in various realms such as art, culture, literature, administration, film, and music. Its opening line is dedicated to the soulful musician from the city M.S. Baburaj even as a stirring strain of harmonium stemming from the background.

The 10-minute music video also raves about a whole range of film personalities from the city besides legendary writers such as M.T. Vasudevan Nair, Vaikom Mohammed Basheer, and S.K. Pottekkat to name a few, while related visuals, including their memorials, photographs, and clippings are also shown.

Produced by Stepz Academy of Dance and Music at Vattoli Bazaar in the district, ‘‘Immini Ballya Kozhikode’’ has already received nearly 80,000 hits on its YouTube post.

“I did it out of sheer love for my home city, which continues to attract creative people to its caring lap from different parts of the country,” says Mr. Roy, who did not try to commercialise his tuneful tribute to the city.

“So did many others, including actor Sudheesh, who associated with the project, even without taking any reward for his roles,” Mr. Roy says. Three singers, Ragesh Bhavani, Sinoy Raj, and Deepthy Das, rendered the song for the music video, which was written by Manu Manjith.

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