Saturday, January 8, 2011

Golconda High School - Kalyani Malik, the essence of modesty

When I first heard the music of 'Ashta Chamma' I was so impressed that I bought several CDs and gifted them to many friends of mine. I loved the music and it went on to become a big hit for its melodious compositions and fresh sound. It also brought to the forefront the maker of the music, the diffident, modest and highly talented Kalyani Malik. The lesser known brother of Keeravani a.k.a. M.M. Kreem, Kalyani Malik wore his success lightly on his sleeve and remained absolutely modest amidst all the critical acclaim that he got after the movie's release. One thing about his interviews - he always thanks everyone concerned without fail.
Senthil, Kalyani Malik and Mohana Krishna Indraganti at the All Saints High School shoot

Later I came to know that he composed that wonderful song in 'Aithe', one of my all time favourite movies in Telugu, the only song in that movie and again a song that impressed me so much for its simplicity and effectiveness, melody and rhythm. It was picturised so beautifully as well and I remember how well it was choreographed - the Alladdin and the genie and the boys and girl. A deeply embedded memory and kudos to all those involved in its making - Senthil, Ganga Raju and others for sure.

When Kalyani was roped in to make the music for 'Golconda High School', to me it is as much in recognition of his technical capabilities as of the kind of values he has, the kind of a person he is. This team is all about that - doing good hard work, being the best in the business and making a difference through good work. And he composed the music for Golconda High School brilliantly. I heard 'Jaagore' a long time ago but each of the other songs were as good. For my entire journey of over 10 hours from Pune to Hyderabad last week, I heard this CD over and over again and not one song did I have to skip.Anjali is also now hooked on to 'Jaago re' and sings that along.

So when Kalyani spoke of his life yesterday at Microsoft it was a revelation. He started by saying that it was the first time he was addressing an audience like this, such a well read elite audience. He candidly confessed that he did not study further than his seventh class. Studying that far in his native village of Rajamundry and Kovvur, he was not confident of speaking in English he said, but he spoke extremely well in the parts he spoke in English, a tribute to his convent school in Kovvur. He got a mite emotional when he recounted the struggles he had faced in his career, how difficult the path had been but he recovered quickly enough. He said that when he sees audiences like this, a campus like this, he wishes that he too had studied and got himself a good job like this.

'I would like to exchange my job with yours right now sir,' said one young Microsoft professional spontaneously when Kalyani said that. Another wanted him to sing a song and the request was for the 'Aithe' song which Kalyani sang very well. Kalyani said he does not know any Hindi but he was a huge Kishore Kumar fan. He recounted how when he had a grih pravesh function when he had bought a flat in Madhapur he walked in with the image of Kishore Kumar and not that of any God. In fact he still has a large image of Kishore on his wall. And despite being bad at Hindi he got so inspired by Kishore that he wanted to become a playback singer in Hindi he said, and wanted to go to Bombay to try his luck. To give you an idea of how bad his Hindi was, he composed the music of 'Jaago re' - added the word 'Jaago' because he felt that the word fit and then, after it was all done asked Mohana Krishna the director what the word 'Jaago' meant. That was how bad his Hindi was and still is.

At the office I overheard Kalyani, the music director of the film, gently asking Prasad the Executive Producer, if he could get a couple of CDs because he wanted to send them to his brother. That is how he is. Simple and unassuming. No wonder his music is like that as well. Simple and melodious. At the audio launch of the film, Senthil, the accomplished cinematographer, remarked that he always believed that Kalyani is a very talented music director and he was sure that Golconda High School would propel him to the next level. Kalyani told me quietly - 'My brother really loves my work. He thinks that if anyone is a competitor to him it is me.' I wish you all the best Kalyani in your future forays and I know that you will make a lot more wonderful music in days to come. Looking forward to all that is in store in future from you.


Rajendra said...

Yes, Ashta Chamma's music was brilliant, added immensely to the charm of the movie. Wishing the same for Golconda High School. The Kishore Kumar saga is touching, particularly without his knowing Hindi. There are a couple of Malayalam songs from the film 'Swapnakoodu'(Karuppi Nalugu and Ishtamallada) that had that effect on me, and one or two from Kannada films too (Huduga, huduga..from 'Amritadhaare' and Anisuthide yako endu from Mungaru Male) -I don't speak either. Music director was Mano Murthy for the kannada films.

Nikhil Kuruganti said...

Hi sir,

Remember me from HCU? Your book has been one of the best i read till date. Looking forward for the movie as well.


Nikhil Kuruganti

ps: If you can please send a blank mail to my ID nikhilmigc @ gmail. com

Anonymous said...

I was astounded at the modesty Sree Kalyani Malik had, when I interviewed him for TeluguCinema.Com. His talent always amazed me. Like I mentioned in the interview, a random movie review for the less known "vaaLLiddari vayasU padahaarE!" also left a praise for Kalyani Malik, the music director for the film (and even I like a song from it very much). Such notable had his work been, and it beats me that he can be so less-known! I wish Kalyani Malik ji all the very best too!

Harimohan said...

I met Kalyani at the first day of the show and he was all modest again. He is a rock star now with people recognising him in the theatre and whispering to one another. Fantastic music - all my cricketer friends love 'Jaagore'!