The glitter of a golden flower sparks in Malayali’s mind through this song in the film Jilebi, ‘varikomale, oru ponpoovaay maaril chaayuvaan varoo’, thanks to its beautiful lyrics penned by a not so popular writer. This is a recent rare exception in the Malayalam film song industry when a song is attracted by the lyrics not by its music. It is a song enriched with the sweetness of a poem and got its due recognition in the top hits list in no time.
The song is written by Sasikala V Menon, wife of Congress leader and GCDA Chairman N. Venugopal. At the age of fourteen, she came foot held in the field of film lyrics writing. Then great music directors like Devarajan, A.T. Ummer etc had composed for the lyrics of that fourteen year old. Sasikala’s lyrics give the older generation a world of nostalgia and to the new generation a cultural insight that most of them might have never experienced.
Sasikala had spent her childhood in North Paravur, Ernakulam district. The innate rural life in the village and the stories told to her by elders at those times were the factors helped to exhume the poet in her. “I stepped into the world of songs by writing for children’s magazines. The movie Sindooram released in 1976, had made an advertisement in search for new faces towards all openings in the film. My father Viswanatha Menon noted this and took the initiative to send my poems to that film makers. Through this I stepped into the field of lyric writing, ” said Sasikala.
My song ‘Yadukula Madhava..’ came in the film Sindooram. Music direction was by the musical legend A.T. Ummer. Five songs in the film ‘Agni nakshatram’ released in 1977 and another five songs in the film ‘Vayanadan Thamban’ released in 1978 were mine. In the film ‘Tharattu’ released in 1981, one of the poems was also by me. Though I reached this field in my very little age, later I didn’t go to anybody to get a chance, Sasikala added.
I had seen Devarajan master and I was indeed lucky to receive his affection and care. He was very short tempered, that was a common saying, but being a girl in small age he treated me very affectionately. Till his death, he used to send me letters. At that time I didn’t know the values of these as my age was low. But now I realize how fortunate I am, very gladly Sasikala expressed.
I am indeed too fortunate to work in the different areas with the legends like Devarajan Master and with the modern music directors. The songs in the old time are enriched with their deep meaning, but most of the songs now a days are meaningless. The new generation likes simple songs.
I got married when I was doing my degree. Then I became busy with my family, my husband and two kids, Lakshmi Venugopal and Vignesh Venugopal. The husband was always busy with his public activities. So a bigger responsibility of the family was on my shoulders. Hence, I didn’t have time to spend for writing. Now the children are grown up, and so thought of a coming back.
My coming back is through writing for the albums. I have written devotional songs for albums like ‘Varna Vrindavanam’ and ‘Siva Panchakshari’. Associated with East coast Vijayan for folk songs, gazels. After that I got a song in the film ‘Jilebi’. Music by Biji Bal and sung by Najeem Arshad and Gayathri. Before this I have written songs for the films ‘Cookliar’, ‘Good, bad, ugly’, ‘Lasagu Usaga’ etc. Cooklier may release in the next month.
Discussions are on with a few and my songs may have a place in more films soon, Sasikala is optimistic.
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