Pookal Pookum Tharunam

There was a period in film music, when all that mattered in a song was the melody – The Melody. Orchestration being a not so comfortable area of work for the composers from that era, they tried to convey all that they wanted to convey in a song through the main melody. Next to the melody, it is the vocal performance and the lyrics with which the song’s emotion was carried through further. These are melodies that never required any support or ornamentation in the name of orchestration.

These days the duty of conveying an emotion is quite equally distributed between the melody and the orchestration, and occasionally the vocal performance and lyrics too contribute. The song that I was gushing about in the previous post is a perfect example of that ideal balance struck between melody and orchestration, where they both are interdependent to convey the overall mood and emotion of the song. Take any one out; the other wouldn’t glitter as much on its own.

The song that I talk about now, ‘Pookal Pookum’ from Madharasapattinam (Composer – G.V. Prakash Kumar) is a song that belongs to that bygone era, where all that matters is the melody. Even if all those ornamental layer of instruments are cut off, the song would still stand on its own and make its point through its melody, vocal performance and the lyrics. These melodies don’t try to bend conventions or create new song structures; it’s only aim is to evoke an emotion, construct an aura, whip up a pre-determined mood in the listeners mind and that, this song does and how.

Well, while I tried to elaborate on each and every instrument and the way it is used in ‘Para Para Kili’, what can I possibly write about a melody - just the melody in ‘Pookal Pookum’? I lack knowledge in music or vocabulary in English to do that. With melodies like these, words fail. How I wish there is a device that can translate the emotions that I go through while listening to this song into words.

It is one of those fresh melodies that you feel you have heard zillion times before. It is a melody about two lovers singing about their state of mind, who are unable to decipher their emotions that they are going through while in love or understand the reasons for being hopelessly in love. It is a song that will instantly remind you, your other soul, in whose company you felt you are on top of the world, and with whom you shared moments when it didn’t matter whether you lived the next second or not.

The song does have all the fancy dressings of current film songs but with a lot of restraint and simplicity of that of old songs. The interludes have just one instrument playing a well defined melody. Typical of the songs of now, the song has a catchy refrain – a Tarana theme, which travels in and out of the song and it is for those who want a hook to hang on to, to follow the leisurely romance oozing out of every bar of the melody. But none of these disturb the pace, peace and pause in the song’s melody.

The moments of brilliance in this song are many. To speak about one - the close-mouthed Tarana that Roop Kumar Rathod lazily hums up without any instrumental disturbances around, immediately after Andrea’s meandering ballad, is a pristine, divine moment of absolutely lost-in-love mood that not many songs capture in these days. It is surprising that last time when I felt the same about a moment, it was the same Roop Kumar Rathod who picked up ‘Ennai Yenna Seithai pennae’ in ‘Oru Devathai’ song from Vaamanan. The expressions and modulations in Roop Kumar Rathod’s voice perfectly fits for the mood of this song. And Ah! Harini! Where was she? She solely lifts this song up with her rendition and nuanced gamakkams that never compromise the essence and expression of the melody.

Na.Muthukumar has become a master of weaving verses so simple, so familiar and yet that sounds so eternal and so fresh when it sits on a melody that it is written for.

If you have love in your life you can’t avoid falling hopelessly in love with this song.

Thaana dhom tha na na... Thaana dhom tha na na... Thaana dhom tha na na...


Vinith said...

absolutely great to read suresh. Nice write up.

Everything was fine for me in this song except Roopkumar's rendition. His voice is too good (even in oru devadhai song), however, rendition isn't too good. Roopkumar in this song is both a plus and a minus.

Liked this song. Aaruyire was also good.

But overall, i feel that GVP hasn't done enough justice to the opportunity provided. Composing for a period film is a rare opportunity we get in TFI. :-(

Nagaraj Venkatesan said...

Awesome post for a Awesome song..Mind blowing song...IMHO, GVs best song till date..Roop kumar Rathods voice..OMG..no words to explain..When i was listening to it, i was feeling heaven was not a place somewhere up in the skies, but in our own earth, when we listen to such a song..

one doubt..Is it based on Darbari Kannada..felt it had traces of Katre en vasal vanthai/ Kalyana then nila.

Thanks again for writing abt the song.

Suresh Kumar said...

Vinith - Thanks.

Roop Kumar Rathod's voice is Exquisitely expressive in this song and that works beautifully for the song despite the Tamil diction. His voice is much better in this song and except for two or three words, his Tamil diction is bearable throughout the song.

Among other songs, I instantly liked 'Vaama Duraiyamma' and the other two instrumental themes. I haven't heard the other songs enough to comment on them. May be we should wait to see how these songs unfold on screen.

Suresh Kumar said...

Nagaraj Venkatesan - Thanks.

GVP's Best - It definitely is.

Darbari Kanada? I have no clue. I have no knowledge about Raagas.

Vinith said...

Theme music 'feel of love' is cool.

Vamma durai amma is hilarious with excellent 'translation' from haneefa. he rocks. we miss him badly :-(

Geetha said...

Pookal Pookum Tharunam Lyrics – Madharasapattinam - http://zxc9.com/Kw1001

Calimafia said...

Don't the first two lines from this remind you of the start of 2nd and 3rd stanza from Pudhu Vellai Mazhai... I am specifically talking of " Nee Azhaikindra nerathill" OR "Penn Illadha Ooril"... The humming Thaana dhom than na has touch of Anarkali from Kangalal Kaidhu Sei..

Overall,a good "aviyal" with beautiful orchestration and lyrics... Roop Kumar Rathod rocks in this song (shows shades of Shankar Mahadevan in the brighas in this song)...

Dee said...

This young man, GVP has a great journey ahead of him.

Did you listen to his latest album Annakodiyum Kodiveeranum? Great work!

FrEindz4 eVer said...

I admire what you have done here. I like the part where you say you are doing this to give back but I would assume by all the comments that this is working for you as well. Musically 2018