'Karalurappulla Keralam': Song captures spirit of Kerala during flood

Written by Joy Thamalam and composed by Ishaan Dev, the motivational song has caught on.
'Karalurappulla Keralam': Song captures spirit of Kerala during flood
'Karalurappulla Keralam': Song captures spirit of Kerala during flood
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It’s only a little more than a minute and a half. And the last four lines repeat. 

Nanmayulla lokame 
Kaathirunnu kaanuka 
Karaludanju veenidillithu 
Karalurappulla Keralam. 

Roughly translated, it would be: 

Oh world filled with goodness,  
Wait and see 
Will not fall with a broken heart 
This is a strong Kerala. 

A song that’s been picked up, heard and passed on for the spirit it brings to those in a state, just recovering from weeks-long floods. The song written by Joy Thamalam, principal correspondent at News 18, and composed and sung by Ishaan Dev, musician-singer has been made into a video album by News 18 Malayalam. 

“It’s been our editorial policy to highlight all the positive news during the floods. The song comes with the same policy,” Joy says.  

He got his junior at college, Ishaan, to compose and sing. “Ishaan has been one of the coordinators from Chennai, sending disaster relief from there. One day he called me to tell me about a wedding that happened at a relief camp in Paravoor and I told him about a few lines of poetry I wrote. He agreed to compose it.” 

The idea was to bring out a motivational song, to lift the spirit of the people. It seems to have worked, the song has caught on. 

“I am settled in Chennai and I have seen the spirit of the people here when they talk about their land. Even now they came to work without politics or religion or caste for the floods. They worked five times harder than how they would have if it was for their own home!” Ishaan says.  

He could see the same spirit in the youth of Kerala. The song captures only 0.1 per cent of that spirit, he says. “But that’s what I could do as a musician. And if it helps motivate at least one other, I am satisfied,” he says.

 The comments that come on his Facebook appear to suggest it is doing a lot more than that. A woman commented that she had so far shown to her NRI friends ‘Shyama sundara’ as the song of Kerala, but now it is 'Karalurappulla Keralam'. 

Joy Thamalam (second from right) with Ishaan Dev (right) and musician Jassie Gift

Ishaan was sure it should not be a negative song, with words suggesting how the land has melted away. “I did not want another sob song for this. And the lyrics by Joy chettan made it easy.” 

Joy has earlier written lyrics for several films including Of the people and Masala Republic. He has also authored seven books of poetry, one of which won the Kumaranasan Puraskaram in 2014.  

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