It is still treated as a fresh song even after 27 years. Thousands of mobile phone users are greeted by this song. It’s one among the most searched songs and continues to be on the top of the hit charts even after quarter of a century. But its not an old song as the film, ‘Neelakkadambu’ is yet to be released. We are talking about ‘Kudajadriyil Kudikollum maheswari....’, an invocation to Mookambika written by K Jayakumar and tuned by Raveendran, an ever green melody among Malayalam film songs.
The memories about this popular song are still fresh in the minds of the co-writers and directors of the film, the creators of an unfulfilled dream. “It all started with our journey to Kodachadri hills,” says S S Ambi Kumar while recollecting his trip with Niyathi Sreekumar, the co director and writer of the film ‘Neelakkadambu’, nearly thirty years ago. An article about this voyage was published in a prominent Malayalam weekly with the pictures by Ambi Kumar. It was one of the earliest articles about the place, which is now one of the most popular pilgrimage place for Malayalis, especially the artist community. “We had thought about several artistic forms and reached at a script in the mid eighties. It was a love story with a devotional flavour giving equal importance to Kolloor Mookambika temple and Kodachadri. Now we don’t talk to anyone about this because of the unforeseen climax the film met with”, he sighs.
Both Ambi kumar, a still photographer and Sreekumar, a reporter, weaved their celluloid dreams together, after their camaraderie developed in Kozhikode. The idea of scripting and directing jointly was not popular then.
“On many an occasion I am overcome by a sense of loss when I listen to this song, especially when abroad,” says Sreekumar. “At first we planned it only for the female voice as the story demanded, but Yesudas wanted to sing the song when he heard it. He did not sing any songs for three days previous to the recording of this song. So now it has a male version along with the female version by Chitra and she received her first offer from another language half an hour after the recording of this song.”
Jayakumar was approached by the team to write the lyrics for his close association with the cultural scenario of Kozhikode. “He had not visited Kolloor or Kodachadri before writing this song. He created the song with some of our references. He visited the temple after writing the lyrics” says Ambi Kumar. Incidentally, the film was christened by Jayakumar. The film had three other songs - ‘Deepam kayyil...’, ‘Neelakkurinjikal...’ and ‘Neelakkadambukalil...’, which all became part of the Malayali nostalgia.
“We met Raveendran for the songs just after his first visit to Mookambika. So he readily accepted our offer,” says Sreekumar. Ambi Kumar still believes his dream project would turn into a reality once. “I still get many offers to remake it into films and serials. I hope to turn it into a reality one day,’’ he adds.