Celebrating the Celestial Birthday on this day, 10 January 2016!
by Elizabeth Menon

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Celebrating the Celestial Birthday on this day, 10 January 2016!

Birthday Wishes to our ‘Gaana Gandharvan', whom we lovingly call 'Dasettan'!

January 10th is always special for Malayaalees because that is the special day when Yesudas was born, on the day of 'Uthraadam' in the month of 'Dhanu'! Yesudas is the one who is blessed with the inimitable voice that is tuned by God Himself and Malayaalees and all those who love music celebrate our Gandharvan’s Birthday – the seasons pass by without even a glance, while he stays young with a beautiful voice that is still at its zenith – perhaps to honour the words of the great Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavather on the 10th day of January years ago, “Innu Daasinte Muppathiyanchaam Pirannaalaanu ...”(“Today is Das's 35th Birthday”)! The most beautiful words of Rafeeq Ahamed from Rangith's film, 'Spirit', 'Ee chillayil ninnu bhoomi than koumaarakaalathilekku parakkaam..' in the Gaandharva Voice is the perfect example of what a 'Real song' should be – a song rendered in his 70s, and the song that one wants to hear again and again, gliding the listener to sheer bliss every time, as that voice is just heaven!

Most of us wake up to his beautiful voice and it is his voice that we hear before we go to sleep at night – his celestial voice is with us in our moments of happiness, most romantic and erotic moments, celebrations, sadness, and any other moment that one can think of! When Yesudas sings the melodies the listener gets the feeling that he is singing to that particular person only, caressing the inner core of that person – his voice has that inimitable magical quality, and still an enigma! Yesudas sings the meaningful words of ONV Kurup that ask the question the world over is dying to ask the 'Gaana-Gandharvan': “Parayoo Nin Gaanathil nukaraatha theninte Madhurima engane vannu...?"("Won't you tell us, how your songs got the sweetness of the 'Untouched honey"?!)
His voice still has the power to engulf the listeners in pure magic, gliding them to celestial heights – a voice that is vibrant enough to conquer all age groups, whether he is singing classical or light music, even after 55 years in the music industry. His dedication to his profession, strict diet and exercise, and of course the celestial blessing keep our ‘God of Music’ in eternal youth, with a magical voice to match!

It has been said that Yesudas sings in God’s voice, and when asked about this, he told me, “Ellaavarkkum Daivathinte shabdamaanallo” (“Everyone has God’s voice), showing his humility! But I would say, “His voice has a 'God-like quality'! It is not just one of the most beautiful voices in the world, it is pure enough to make you think of walking on dry snow when the sun is shining ('Ottakkampi Nadam Mathram') or perhaps the smooth bubbling of cream and melting chocolate, dripping with honey ('Chandana lepa sugandham', 'Chandanacholayil', Ponnil kulichu ninnu'), or exotic enough to remind us of the most beautiful paintings of Raja Ravi Varma that has the exquisite magical touch to take you to the most erotic planes ('Poykayil', in the film Rajashilpi). or the most powerful songs that even challenge the sound waves ('Hari Muralleeravam',
'Gange', 'Padha Smarana sukham',etc!)

Something special happens even when he sings very ordinary songs -- words come to life and songs become classics, writers and their lyrics reach immortality through his voice, music directors become legends and listeners are blessed! Yousafali Kecheri has written the poem, 'Yesudas', and has dedicated a song, “Thenaanu Nin Swaram Paattukara, Poovaanu Nin Manam Koottukaara”; even the great Vayalar Rama Varma has written a song for his, 'Yesu', which shows the greatness of this musical legend! 

The most delightful, "Chillitta vaathilil vannu nilkkaamo ... melle thurannu tharaamo …", words of K Jayakumar IAS ('Chandanalepa Sugandham'-fame'!), is a true 'Heart-stopper' and seduction at its best in Yesudas's most alluring voice and I was hooked the first time I heard it years ago – I couldn't believe that somebody could use such simple words and create something that is so enchanting, and of course, the celestial voice brought the words to life!

I feel that we can all empathize with the beautiful words of K Jayakumar that dance to Yesudas's most seductive voice, touching our innermost senses – perhaps an 'Anthem' for Malayalees!

“Ormmayil Kaanunnathee Mukham Maathram
Jeevanil Cherunnathee Swaram Maathram
Kelkkunnathellam Sukhamulloreenam
Viriyunnathellam Neerunna Mounam
Hrudayam Thetunna Thaalam
Sukritham Pookkunna Kaalam…” (Film: ‘Uthram oru Nakshathram’)

“May all your dreams be showered with Celestial blessings and may you reign forever" – you or your voice will never grow old because you are blessed, and have the love and prayers of millions of admirers!

"May green be the grass you walk on, 

May blue be the skies above you, 

May pure be the joys that surround you, 

May true be the hearts that love you"

(Irish Blessing)

Few songs:
"Ee chillayil ninnu ... from 'Spirit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HV5c7pjelcE: words of Rafeeq Ahmed, to the music of Shahabas Aman

"Ormayil ...": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-eU6dxNiWU: K Jayakumar and Sunny Stephen

'Chandanacholayil mungi neeraadiyen ...': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kujJUU8HfPI

'Ponnil kulichu ninnu ...': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REkluyqjsas

and 'Paadha smarana sukham': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPRydlvT6vY, from the film, 'Sallaapam'(1996), Kaithapram and Johnson

"Chillitta Vaathilil...": K Jayakumar and Jerry Amaldev
'ennum chirikkunna suriyante": SKT and Raveendran

"Hari muraleeravam..."-Live: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVI7GsVGaMg&list=RDeVI7GsVGaMg: Gireesh Puthencherry and Raveendran
'Pramadavanam...'-Live: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_Dm84VwHZc&index=2&list=RDeVI7GsVGaMg: Kaithapram and Raveendran

© E Menon



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