I have sung enough: S. Janaki

Veteran playback singer S. Janaki. Photo: Nagara Gopal  

Malayalam cinema gave S. Janaki many of the finest songs of her long career. It is perhaps therefore only appropriate that she is ending her career with a song for a Malayalam film.

“I never planned that my last song would be in Malayalam; it just happened,” Janaki told The Hindu over phone from her Hyderabad home. “I had taken a decision to stop singing a few months back and then this Malayalam song came along (for the film 10 Kalpanakal).”’

She said she would no longer perform in stage shows. “My last programme was the SIIMA Awards in Singapore in July,” she said. “And the last live show I did was at Kozhikode before that.”

She said she decided to call it a day because she felt she had sung enough songs in a career that began six decades ago. “I have sung in so many different languages for so many years,” she said. “So I felt it was time to end my career.”

In that melodious career her voice ensured that thousands of songs would regale music lovers for ever. Songs such as Thaliritta kinaakkal than… ( Moodupadam), Singara velane… ( Konjum Silangai), Shiva shiva ennada naaligeyeke…( Hemavathi), Senthoora poove… ( 16 Vayathinile), Chinna thayaval… ( Thalapathi) would not have sounded as special in any other voice.

You cannot imagine too many female voices sweeter than that of Janaki. Add to that the effortless ease with which that voices traverses through varied pitches and her flawless diction.

No non-Malayali singer has rendered with Malayalam songs with such correct pronunciation as Janaki. Little wonder, she is easily one of the most popular singers of all time in Malayalam.

The Andhra-born singer came to Malayalam cinema during its golden period. In M.S. Baburaj, she found a composer who gave her the most melodious of compositions. Their combination was just as sweet as the one featuring Lata Mangeshkar and Madan Mohan in Hindi.

Among the classics Janaki sang under the baton of Baburaj are Thane thirinjum marinjum…( Ambalapravu), Vasanthapanchami naalil… ( Bhargavi Nilayam), Anjanakkannezhuthi… ( Thacholi Othenan) and Avidunnen gaanam kelkkaan… ( Pareeksha).

“Yes, some of my best songs were composed by Baburaj,” she said. “I also enjoyed singing for other composers lime, M.S. Viswanathan, V. Dakshinamoorthy, K. Raghavan, A.T. Ummer, Shyam and Johnson.”

She sounded a little disappointed though that she was not asked to sing that many good songs in the latter stage of her career. “I don’t know why I was not asked to sing in major films,” she said. “Somehow it was mostly for smaller films that I sang; and that too only occasionally.”


Thaliritta kinaakkal than… ( Moodupadam)

Sooryakanthee…. ( Kaattuthulasi)

Vasanthapanchami naalil… ( Bhargavi Nilayam)

Pottithakarnna kinavu… ( Bhargavi Nilayam)

Avidunnen gaanam… ( Pareeksha)

Anjanakkannezhuthi… ( Thacholi Othenan)

Nirangal than nrutham… ( Parasparam)

Naatha neevarum… ( Chamaram)

Unarunaroo…. ( Ammaye Kanan)

Oru kochu swapnathin… ( Tharavattamma)

Eeranuduthumkondambaram… ( Iruttinte Athmavu)

Thaane thirinjum… ( Ambalapravu)

Swarnamukile… ( Ithu Njangalude Katha)

Gopike nin viral… ( Kattathe Kilikkoodu)

Neela jalashayathil… ( Angeekaram)

Aa nimishathinte… ( Chandrakantham)

Singara velane… ( Konjum Silangai)

Senthoora poove… ( 16 Vayathinile)

Machana pathingala… ( Annakili)

Shiva shiva ennada naaligeyeke… ( Hemavathi)

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