Deep rooted in me are a few film songs that never fail to raise goose bumps whenever I listen to them. One of them is a Malayalam film song, ‘Andolanam Dolanm’, from movie ‘Sargam’. It is very close to my heart for more than one reason.
One is the raga. It is composed in raga Kedaragowla. I am surprised by the versatility of this janya raga of Harikamboji. There are handful of popular kritis like Venuganaloluni’, Saraguna palimpa’, Samikku Sari’ etc. in this raga. Professional theatres of Karnataka, apply this raga in ‘Kanda Padya’ (free verse sung without tala) to emote veera rasa. It is amazing to see the turn the raga takes when the rakti elements of the raga are carefully identified, nurtured and projected. Swinging slowly and rhythmically ‘Andolanam’ casts a soothing magic spell on you.
Using classical ragas for composing film music is not at all a new feature. Right from the days of Papanasam Shivan to the present day MSV, Mahadevan, Dakshinamurthy, Devaraj, Baburaj, Balamuralikrishna, Sharath, A.R.Rehaman etc. classical ragas have been successfully incorporated into the film music. But the composer of this song is Bombay Ravi. All of us know that Ravi is a popular music director of Bollywood with many super hit Hindi songs to his credit. It is confounding how this Ravishankar Sharma from Delhi could grasp the ethos of an out and out Karnatic raga like Kedaragowla so brilliantly. I say hats off. The rendition by Yesudas and Chitra is divine. The icing on the cake is the inimitable Nedumudi Venu in the role of a music teacher. Observe him to know what is meant by the fidelity in characterization. Just click ‘Andolanam Dolanam’ in YouTube to watch this clip.