Vappa’s craze for music and dance

One of my childhood memories of Vappa was his craze for dance and music. Though not  heard him sing any song completely, he used to hum songs and talk about songs and dances to us and his friends.

He could tell out raagas of classical songs and could easily locate whenever the artist mixes up ragas or goes wrong while singing.

 Many time I found him analyze the lyrics especially of “thathuva paadalkal”.

When I was too small the songs put in the house was mostly classical. 

M.S.Subbalekshmi was his favorite artist. If I remember correctly he took the car and headed to Madurai just for attending a concert of hers (Madurai was  280 Km away from Perumbavoor). He also had the full collection of M.S songs  in the form of 10” and 12”  78 RPM records. 

To listen to the songs repeatedly without bothering about the size of records,  he had a very sophisticated Swiss made “Thorens” record changer. It could play a set of 10 records on both sides repeating any side to number of times set manually. We had this mechanical wonder in the 1950-55 period, a  time everything was  mechanical  and electronic controls were unheard of.

Other artists he was interested in was M.L.Vasanthakumari, D.K Pallammal, K.B Sundarambal, M K Thyagaraja Bhagavather and S G Kittappa.

Talking of Hindi, he was a fan of K M Saigal, Pankaj Mallik and Suraiya. I am told sister Zulaiha will not go to sleep unless she was put  “Soja Raja Kumaree” sung by Saigal.

Vappa  was crazy of dance also. Then famous were Kamala Lakshman and Alleppey sisters (Lalitha Padmini and Ragini).

I remember having gone with him for the film “Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje (1955)” a super duper dance and song movie which won the Filmfare Best Movie Award acted by Gopi Krishna and Sandhya.

More will be added to this log book later.

- Thampi

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