“After showing me the world, he’s gone” – ‘Ayyappan and Koshiyum’ Nanjiamma Background

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Sachi is one of the most successful screenwriters of Malayalam. The film that made him successful as a director was ‘Ayyappanum Koshiyum’. Bijumenan, Prithviraj Sukumaran and Ayyappan have acted as Koshi. Nanjiamma won the National Award for Best Playback Singer (Female) for her song “Kalakatha Chandanameram Vekhuvaka Boothiruk” in the film.

Nanjiamma hails from Attapadi on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border. He belongs to the tribe of Tamil Nadu and his mother tongue is Tamil. Attapadi in Palakkad district went to Kerala when the states were divided linguistically. Due to this, the language of Attappadi tribal people of Tamil Nadu started to change slowly. Generation after generation read and wrote Malayalam as their mother tongue.

However, their colloquial language still has the flavor of Tamil. Nanjiamma’s song “Kalakkatha Chandanameram Vaukhaka Poothiruku..” is a witness to that. This song is the national song of the villagers living in Attappadi forest. Although it sounds like a Malayalam song, if you look closely you can tell that it is a Tamil song. Nanjiamma used to sing Natar songs in her ittukkat while herding goats in Attappadi forest.

It was a documentary director who discovered him and made him listen to his song in public. Yes, Nanjiamma had sung a song in the documentary Agudu Nayak (Mathru Leeza) directed by Sindhu Sajan, a female director, before singing in Ayyappanum Koshiyum. However, the song “Kalakkatha Chandanameram Vukhak Bhoothirku..” brought him to the limelight on the world stage. This is entirely due to director Sachi and music composer Jacques Bijoy. The late director Sachi Nanjiamma’s song should be featured.

An example of this. Nanjiamma, who had not seen the outside world till then, was afraid of acting and singing on screen and told Sachi at the beginning of the film that if you don’t like the song, leave me alone. But Sachi, who does not let him go, insists, “Sing in this, surely a way will come for you” and makes Nanjiamma sing. Nanjiamma agrees for Sachi and sings the song “Kalakkatha” with Tamil words and Malayalam pronunciation, and this voice rang throughout the world during the Corona period. This is the song that is sung when children are shown the sky. Nanjiamma himself revealed in an interview that this metu belonged to his ancestors.

A national award has been announced today for Nanjiamma, who was singing in Attappadi Forests without much examination, whether it was the existing cinematography or screen experience. At this moment, Nanjiamma spoke emotionally on behalf of late director Sachi. Speaking to a Malayalam media, he said, “I am an unknown person. I was doing many jobs like herding goats and cows. It was only director Sachi sir who took me to the outside world. The people of the country happily welcomed me and made me know the outside world. But Sachi sir, who showed me the world, is in this world today. No. I will receive this award for him.

Knowingly or unknowingly, he is the one who made me connect with this film. Everyone has to die someday. If Sachi sir was around today, he would have been proud of me getting the award. Even in death I have taken care of him. Happy to get the award. All the people of the country should get this happiness,” said Nanjiamma.

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