He came into the Malayalam film world by penning beautiful lyrics which carry the emotions of loneliness, helplessness, etc. Dr. Madhu Vasudevan, Hindi Professor in Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam, is a Poet, Music Critic, Songwriter and Cultural Activist. His four songs from Malayalam movie “Jalam” are contending for nominations in the Best Original Song category at the 88th Academy Awards.
Madhu shares his excitement, expectation on his four songs, which got the rarest of the rare opportunity to compete for Oscar awards.
“The movie ‘Jalam’ tells the story of a widowed mother struggling to raise her child in the city alone. After losing her husband in an accident, the widow had to face many challenges with her kid in the city, to grab a piece of land to live.
“The story Witnesses the journey of a strong will. Priyanka Nair is in the role of the widow. It depicts the life of a strong woman. May be because of this, the movie is also vying for nominations in the Best Picture Category at the Oscars. The songs of the film sing the music of resistance. We have to raise our voice on the injustices of our society. It is the duty of every citizen.
“This movie is focused on those and included the matters like Chengara struggle, which refers to an ongoing controversy about land near the Chengara village in Pathanamthitta. In short the songs are the clear and real depiction of the script. Songs are the blend of lyrics and music. They talk to all. The film speaks about the struggles of a woman and she stands as the representative of all the women in this world, who go through these paths”, Madhu says.
The music of the film is composed by Ouseppachan with a beautiful blend of Hindustani and western music. Jalam is scripted by S Suresh Babu and directed by M. Padmakumar. Priyanka and Prakash Bare in lead roles. By overcoming many financial crisis, ‘Jalam’ became a reality. Sohan Roy took the challenge to produce the film.
“Bhoomiyilenghanumundo”, “Koodu Vaykkan”, “Yaathra Manoradhamerum” and “Pakalppaathi Chaari” are the four songs from the movie that will be vying for a nomination in the Oscar. The songs sung by Shakthisree Gopalan and Binny Krishnakumar.
“Bhoomiyilenghanumundo”, the song covers the life of a five year old girl till she becomes a mother of a five year old boy. Along with ‘Jalam’, another Indian film, ‘Salt Bridge’ also contending for nominations in the Best Original Song category. Actually, it is an Indo-Australian venture, which was seen in English in some film festivals too. But to be in Oscar nominations, the film was dubbed into Hindi . But, ‘Jalam’ is a pure Indian film.
Having a close friendship with Malayalam superstar Mohanlal, Madhu reached the filmy world. Through Mohanlal, he was a friend of Suresh Babu, the script writer of the film, who drew the pictures for Madhu’s poem anthology. Suresh realised a lyricist in Madhu and had been invited to write film songs. Madhu’s debut is ‘Thiruvambadi Thamban’. He has 19 songs in his songs kit yet. ‘Ottakku Padunna Poonkuyil’ in the film ‘Nadan’, won the State award.
The first meeting of Madhu and Mohanlal was at Sathyan Anthikad’s set. Mohanlal wanted to meet him, when he saw the note of Hindustani Singer Kumar Gandharva, in Madhu’s book ‘Sangeetharthamu’, which was presented to him by his friend. Mohanlal is an adorer of Kumar. Seven years old friendship with Mohanlal is continuing now also.
“Mohanlal is the person, who influenced a lot in my life. He respects the director, even if the director is very younger to him. He is very punctual and mingling friendly with everybody. He is sincere to all. He wishes to have knowledge in all subjects”, Madhu has lots to say about Mohanlal.
Madhu has written four books. His book ‘Sangeetharthamu’ has received the Kerala Sahitya Academy Award. His upcoming book is ‘Love in metro’. It is the collection of love poems. Mohanlal wrote the preface of this book. He has been doing research on music for the last 25 years. He has presented 400 papers on music. He was the co-ordinator appointed by the Kerala Government to renovate music colleges.
He is handling Malayalam and Hindi alike. “It is very difficult to handle two subjects. Additional energy we have to put on. In my opinion songs should be written according to the tune. Then only one feels a variety”, Madhu says.
“As the native of Alappuzha and the student and teacher of Maharajas College, I can demand the musical legacy of Sreekumaran Thampi, O.N.V and P. Bhaskaran”, he smiles.
“I wish to see the new generation and songs in a positive manner. As a teacher, much of my time I spend with students. I always try to understand their tastes. New generation too have problems, if we find any problem in new generation songs”, he says.
He is born to Vasudevan and Karthyani. His father had an interest in music and mother used to read a lot. His wife M. Pushpa is a freelance journalist. The couple has two sons. Bilahari, a plus two student and Bilaval, a tenth standard student.
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