Saturday, October 19, 2013

Chandanam Manakkunna Poonthottam - Achuvettante Veedu

It is probably every man's dream - a house to call his own. My Dad dreamt of it too. And he built one - the one which we have been calling 'home' for the past 18 years. We were living in Dubai, and 'our house' was a work in progress during our early childhood. We (my sister and I) always heard Dad and Mom discuss its construction, how he was saving for 'our house' and that we would be moving to India to settle down there. And since those days, the song that reminds me of this phase is the song 'Chandanam manakkunna poonthottam'. 

Almost everything visualized in that song has parallels with our lives. The only difference is that the song picturizes future events, as it may occur when the house would be constructed; and in our case, it happened for real. I remember us visiting the site during construction and wondering what this structure of bricks as we saw it then would look like in the future, just as in the song. I see my dad in Nedumudi Venu, when he's furiously scrubbing the wash basin, most likely blowing a fuse at no one being responsible about keeping things clean! I remember Mom when the 'Achutham Keshavam Ramanarayanam' bit plays; for Mom taught us that prayer, and there was a time when even we used to sing this hymn (and more) together. Dad also fulfilled his dream of bringing Ammamma to our new home, and she stayed with us for a couple of days. My wedding happened this year... and our lovely home witnessed that joy too! The song shows Nedumudi Venu learning to drive a car, and that's the only thing he hasn't done and doesn't intend to!

What I like about the song is how it captures the aspirations of wanting to own a home, of how elevated we desire it to be. The lyrics portray the house as a character, and describes the various elements/features in a poetical way. 

In fact, the essence of how a common man dreams of his own house (to the point of obsession!) is the basic premise of this movie; and how fate changes plans and the family moves forward is what the story is about. Does Achuvettan build his 'dream' home? Watch the movie to know more.

Credits - 

Movie: Achuvettante Veedu (1987) [This is Balachandra Menon's 25th movie]
Song: Chandanam Manakkunna Poonthottam [This is the only song in the movie]
Lyrics:  S. Ramesan Nair
Music: Vidyadharan
Singer: K J Yesudas, Chitra (there are separate male and female tracks)

Here's the video -

Chandanam manakkunna poonthottam
Chandrikamezhukiya manimuttam
Ummarathambili nila vilakku
Uchathil sandhyakku naama japam
Hari naama japam

Achutham keshavam raama narayanam
Krishna dhaamodharam vaasudevam bhaje...(2)

Muttathu kinattil kulir vellathodu
Muthum palunkum tholkkenam
Kaalikal kudamaniyattunna thozhuthil
Kaalam vidupani cheyyenam
Saundaryam melkkoora meyumee veettil
Saubhagyam picha vachu nadakkenam

Achutham keshavam raama narayanam
Krishna dhaamodharam vaasudevam bhaje...(2)

Makkalee veettil mayil peeli methayil
Maithilimaarayi valarenam
Avarude swayamvara panthalorukaan
kalayum kamalayum porenam
Varadhaanam pookalamezhuthumee veettil
Vasanthangal thaalamenthi nilkkenam