The music video was released by actor Mammootty on his Facebook page on Sunday.

Jwalamukhi poster shows seven women in black and red
Features Music Monday, June 22, 2020 - 19:23

After a long distance call with her father back home in Kerala, Smitha Nambiar, stuck in Dubai during the COVID-19 lockdown, felt restless. She’d been listening to stories about her Shundu – Vaidehi – her four-year-old daughter who's staying with her grandparents in Kannur. Smitha’s father had just told her how Vaidehi would run behind airplanes, asking ‘mommy to come down from it’. She had also figured out how to send voice notes to Smitha’s WhatsApp number and had been asking ‘mommy to come home fast’.

Smitha, hearing all this, felt all too saddened and helpless, and the desperation flowed out as words on a piece of paper. “It became a poem in 10 minutes and reading it later, I didn’t want to change a word. I sent it to my friend Sajna Vinish, a singer and composer, and told her I wanted a lullaby out of it. It came out beautifully. Sajna understood how every line was meant to be. All I wanted then was a lullaby to listen to and perhaps have an artist friend do a sketch of it. But when I shared the poem among friends, one of them – Susmitha Chakkungal – said she would like to give expression to it through dance,” Smitha says.

More calls were made and a Malayalam music video was created by seven women from several corners of the world. All of them are mothers too. The music video – titled 'Jwalamukhi' – was released by actor Mammootty on his Facebook page on Sunday.

“We call it a moms’ project. We thought it should be all mothers in the project, they wouldn’t need any explanation, they’d get the feeling in those words. Classical dance is one art form where you can emote every word that’s written with dignity. Seethalakshmi and Anusri S Nair from Thiruvananthapuram, Susmitha and Purnima from Chennai danced from their respective homes, recorded it on their phones and sent it out. All four of them are mothers of girls. My sister-in-law Soumya Sagar did the editing and I did the direction,” Smitha says.


Smitha and Vaidehi

The song is for a girl child. Every child is special, but in a girl child, a mother can see herself, Smitha says. “She is a miniature version of you and you should be her role model. In life, there will be a lot of people to tell her not to do something, because she is a girl. If she sees how her mother is independent, free to think, efficient to handle pressures in life, she'll know that she can grow up to be an independent person herself. 'Jwalamukhi' refers to the concept of a volcano. The mother wishes the daughter to be independent and fierce and like a firebrand, whose rays shine on other people positively,” says Smitha, who also has an elder son.

It was not easy to bring the song out, the distance between the women having them rely heavily on technology to communicate. A WhatsApp group was promptly formed and the women exchanged ideas. They wanted it to be unique even without the help of a professional cameraman or the necessary lighting. They chose a monochromatic background. The women dressed in black and red, the red a symbol for the 'Jwalamukhi’ volcanic fire. It was highlighted in every frame, the red in the women’s blouses and bindis, mehendi on the hand and flowers on the head.

“We wanted it to be like a beautiful rainbow of seven people coming together,” Smitha says – but they stuck to three colours, not seven.

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