An Ode to singer Swarnalathaji...

I was in my 5th or 6th standard then... I heard this beautiful song coming from my neighbors house while I was passing by... it evoked in me some kind of feeling...I was too young to understand what it was, but all I knew was  that I had to hear that song.So I stopped in my tracks and listened... I heard her sing... her voice so tranquil and yet so melancholic, it teased and soothed all at once. It had resonance beyond all levels and I had to hear her again... That song... that melody that she sang with so much emotion... and dear reader, I did not even know the language then. It was a song composed by the amazing IR and sung by Swarnalatha... The song was 'Kuyil Paatu' from the movie 'Yen Rasavin Manasiley' starring Rajkiran and the demure Meena. 

I was floored to say the least. I could not get enough of this pristine voice. And what versatility she had...she could croons sweet melodies like Kuyil paatu and Maalaiyil yaaro and render a complete opposite of that in songs like 'Mukkaala Mukabala' and 'Aatama Therotama' with equal ease.

I had performed with her on several occasions and I was in awe of her humility and down to earth nature.
She was so famous then, and I just a beginner, I was thrilled at having a seat next to her. I did try to tell her how much her voice had created such an immense impact on me, but I don't think my words could do justice to what I really felt... I was so excited and shy to actually reveal to her my love for her beautiful voice. I had kept stealing glances at her wanting to know more about her, how her voice sounds while talking, how she warmed up before a performance, did she drink something special for her vocal chords to be soothed after a performance, did she pray before going on stage... practically everything to do with her voice. And I noticed her personality which gleamed and made me take notice of, even though I was more interested in her voice. She was a gem, so unassuming and level headed that it could catch anyone off guard. She was even more shy than I was and when I told her 'I love your voice' (which was all that I could tell her considering I was too young and too shy myself) she replied a timid 'Thankyou' which was just a decibel above a whisper but with a beaming smile that made me feel so comfortable to be with her. It was her turn to perform and she sang the song 'Yevano Oruvan' from Alaipayuthey which left me completely mystified...
This magical voice is no more... and I feel remorse in my heart...because I truly love her voice and I cant imagine that I will never hear another song from her again...
I am only pacified by the fact that her songs still live on and memories of her acquaintance will remain with me for all time... 
May her soul rest in peace...
P.S. - What is your favourite song of Swarnalathaji ?

8 comments:

bharu said...

It's sad that swarnalatha ji has left this world, but the songs that she has sung would surely be unique and no one else can imitate it.. mine would be all time fav "Maalaiyil Yaaro Manathodu Pesa.." that's a really lovely song that i would hear for years...

vimmuuu said...

It is indeed one of the biggest loss for Tamil industry. I was wondering where she was and how come we dont get to hear much these days. This has been a horrible week for Tamil industry. She is always going to be with us with her songs, thats for sure ! may her soul rest in peace. My anytime fav song of Swarnalathaji is Poraaley Ponnu. As you said, couldnt believe it was the same person who sang Aatama Therottama !

Anonymous said...

may the departed soul rest in peace. time alone will heal our music wounds.


surendran. js
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Pranavam Ravikumar a.k.a. Kochuravi said...

I am not yet releived from the shock I got knowing her passing away. Its a great loss for Tamil Film Industry.

Although she hailed from Kerala, we had a few number from her side.

May her soul rest in peace.....

My favorite song: Poraale Ponnuthaayi....

Abi said...

Still i'm not able to believe that Kuyil is no more :( Her soothing voice is no more. May her soul rest in peace. My all time Favorite is Evano oruvan from Alaipaayuthe. But the list goes on and on.. Porale,Malayil,Hey Raama...

Thiyagarajan said...

all songs of her are too good......
My favourite is enullae enullae from Valli

Anonymous said...

Wow all I can say is that you are a great writer! Where can I contact you if I want to hire you?

Saranya said...

Lots....but one i can say instantly is "kuyil pattu" :)))

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