Young and in love

Dhanya Ananya in a still from ‘Youvanam’

Dhanya Ananya in a still from ‘Youvanam’  

The third segment of Pennaal, a five-part musical tribute to womanhood, releases

The piece begins with a staccato rhythm of the looms. Soon, melody takes over, luring the listener into a dreamy soundscape. ‘Youvanam’, the music video, is a take on youth and its most defining character — love. Director Shyla Thomas says she didn’t have to think twice about the theme. “Youth is a period in one’s life, which is rife with possibilities. And I thought why not choose love to define the period.”

However, she also wanted to keep it simple and relatable. Shot at a weaving unit at Manjavilakam near Neyyattinkara run by Padmashree-winning weaver Gopinath, the hand looms and threads offer a colourful setting for the song. “Love being the central theme, I wanted to draw parallels between the process of weaving and love,” says Shyla. In fact, as the song progresses, the entire process of weaving takes place as a back-story.

The album is a sensitive portrayal of love – the longing, anticipation and joy included.

‘Youvanam’ is from the makers of Pennaal, a collection of five songs that depict the five stages in a woman’s life. Conceptualised by Shyla Thomas and Shani Hafees, Pennaal is a tribute to womanhood.

The previous segments, says Shyla, received encouraging feedback. The first in the series, titled ‘Baalyam’, was released in March 2019 and starred singer Shreya Jayadeep. The video captures the innocence of childhood. In July the same year, the second album, ‘Koumaram’, was released. Directed by national award-winning actor Surabhi Lakshmi, the album depicted adolescence and its complex spectrum of emotions. “Surabhi used elements of Nangiarkoothu to give life to the emotions. And we felt adolescence could be depicted best through dance,” says Shyla.

Shyla, who has dabbled in journalism, poetry, anchoring and direction, says she had been mulling over a concept such as Pennaal for some time. The idea took form and shape after she discussed it with friend and singer Shani. “Surabhi, who is also a dear friend, encouraged me,” says Shyla, who has to her credit a number of songs.

The lyrics, music, direction and acting are mainly by women. ‘Baalyam’ and ‘Koumaram’ were written by Shyla and music was scored by musician Gayathri Suresh. Shani has sung for ‘Koumaram’, which was directed by Surabhi. ‘Youvanam’ was written and sung by Shani and directed by Shyla. The music has been scored by Hindustani singer Madhuwanti Narayan. “We wanted to include as many women on board as possible. In the later segments, we have included violinist Roopa Revathy and tabla artist, Ratnashree Iyer,” says Shyla.

The next in the series is ‘Mathruthwam’ (motherhood), written by Shyla, tuned by Gayathri and sung by Shani. After that comes ‘Vardhakyam’ (old age), also composed by Shyla and composed by Gayathri. The videos are expected to be released this year.

The album consists of a bonus track as well titled Thusharam, a ghazal, which on the pain of separation. Written by Smitha Saleem and composed by Archana Gopinath, it has been sung by Gayathri Suresh.

Cinematographer Pappinu, sound designer Ranganath Ravee and Colourist Ramesh CP have been part of the project too.

‘Youvanam’ was released on actor Mohanlal’s FB page and the poster was released by actor Asha Sarath. Dhanya Ananya, who played a policewoman in the film Ayyapanum Koshiyum, features in the album. The videos are being produced by Timesworld Media and Ayurdha Media House (owned by Shyla and Shani).

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 7:11:51 PM |

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