As ‘Poomaram’ blooms, here is the fascinating origin of Kerala’s most runaway musical hit

The popularity of the "Poomaram" song has spawned several remixes and covers. It had also been targeted by the trolls for days.

Written by Sanjay Mohan , Shilpa Jacob | Updated: November 30, 2016 11:34 am
A Malayalam film song ‘Poomaram’, has become an instant hit, days after it has been released.

A Malayalam film song has become an instant hit, days after it has been released. “Njaanum, Njaanumentaalum…” track in Abrid Shine’s upcoming film “Poomaram” has become the most-liked Malayalam video on YouTube. The “Poomaram” song which is little over three minutes has been liked by some 78,000 visitors on the video sharing site. It has also been viewed close to six million times after it was released online on November 18.

The popularity of the “Poomaram” song has spawned several remixes and covers. It had also been targeted by the trolls for days.

The song is composed and rendered by debutant Faizal Razi. Director Abrid said he took an instant liking for the song, the first time he heard it and decided to use it in his new film.

“The campus-based story needed several elements and I was in search of it. Then I met Nasil, former chairman of Maharajas College Students Union. He took me to Maharajas College and the song. When we were auditioning for actors when we heard Faisal singing the ‘Poomaram’ song with a guitar.”

“I was sure that the ‘Poomaram’ song will be a hit. But this is overwhelming,” Abrid added.

Singer Faizal Singer Faizal Razi. (Source: Photo by Shahid Manakapady)

Kalidas, who makes his debut as a lead actor in the film, sings the song along with a group. The son of actors Jayaram and Parvathy had earlier won the National Award for the Best Child artist in the 2003 film “Ente Veedu Apoovintem”.

As it became a runaway hit, what foxed every one was the origin of the song. No one was able to identify who had written the lyrics for the song. Faizal said the song has been a part of the repertoire of the students of Maharaja’s College, even before he enrolled for a music course there.

“It was sung by several of my seniors when I joined there. I had set it to a different tune. But it was presented to my friends only, as I was apprehensive that I would be slammed for improvising a popular song,” Faizal said.

“Sudheesh Sudhan, a former student of Maharajas brought the song to college after he heard it somewhere in Kottayam district. But the person who penned the song remained unknown. After releasing the song, I got calls regarding the origin of it. Some callers said the song was sung by people of Cherthala near Alappuzha for at least 25 years. But no one was sure about its origin. Someone from Kuzhoor village, near Ernakulam also said that they heard this being sung by patrons at a toddy parlour”. There were calls from Munnar too, saying they had also heard it being sung several years ago, Abrid said.

Actor Jayaram Kalidas from the song Actor Kalidas Jayaram from the song

Abrid Shine’s quest to find the lyricist of the song ended this weekend. Dayal Singh and Babu Asan of Kodungallor in Thrissur district have now claimed that they have written the song. Dayal said he had rewritten the lines hummed by Babu. 62-year-old Babu, who was a mechanic of a fishing boat, claims it was sung by fisherfolk while pulling in their fish-laden nets. “The idea to set it in a new tune came during the discussions after work,” Babu added.

Dayal who also works as a tile layer used to sing the song at many construction sites. Sudeesh Sudhan had recorded Dayal singing the song on his mobile phone, sometime in 2008. He must have carried it to his college soon afterward, Babu said.

“The film demands such songs and situations. Maharajas College provided the right ambiance for the song, and this could have added to its popularity,” Abrid said. The film has two more songs. One is a Malayalam translation of Neruda’s love poem, while the other is another song composed by Faizal.

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The reception for his first song has got is exhilarating as well as unnerving, Razi said. “New offers are coming. People will expect the best from me. I am apprehensive whether I can measure up to their expectations,” Razi said.

The female lead of “Poomaram” has not been revealed so far. The film slated to open in February has Meera Jasmine and Kunchako Bobban in cameo roles.