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Soulful Songs (Ninnu Kori Varnam)

'Ninnu Kori Varnam’ from Gharshana (old) movie, composed by Ilayaraja, written by Veturi Sundararama Murthy, sung by K.S.Chithra. What can I say about this evergreen song? This is considered as one of the best compositions of Ilayaraja. And, Chithra was almost referred to as ‘Ninnu Kori’ Chithra. Till today, this song is expected to be one of the opening songs of K.S.Chithra in any of her world tour shows. Ilayaraja has changed the trend in filmy music by introducing the westernized instruments for a semi-classical song which was later taken as reference by many upcoming music directors at that time. This song will be in list of such Maestro compositions.


This song starts off with a haunting music followed by the voice of Chinna Kuyil Chithra singing 'Ninnu kori varnam'. This is one of the special songs where every word has a ‘Gamaka’ to sing and also a very rare combination of having the lower & higher musical notes in a single song. This is one of Chithra's best solo songs to sing. This song is composed in ‘Mohana’ Raaga and it is inspired from the famous varnam 'Ninnu kori' which is originally in Mohana raaga. Ilayaraja brilliantly took the Mohana raagam and Raja Shri impressively wrote the song as ' Ninnu kori varnam, Sari sari kalisene nayanam'. The title of this song is taken from the tamil song itself and rest was written apt to the song situation in telugu.

Ilayaraja's orchestrization in this song is such a festive treat. He used different kind of approach for a semi-classical song. This song is composed with slight pace in the rhythm which is generally expected only in fast numbers. He has used the instruments like classical guitar, electric key board, electric pads for rhythm and other instruments to create this musical piece. This is why he is regarded as ‘God’ of music, he is the one who gave birth to many such creative inventions in the field of filmy music.

I always admire Raja Shri songs. The most challenging job is for a lyric writer to write lyrics for a dubbed song. Raja Shri is famous for writing such type of songs and he is also known as ‘Anuvaada Brahma’. I love the way the lyrics were particularly written for this complete song. Raja Shri tried to get all the rhyming words at the end of each line and below are few lines to quote.

Palikinchaali swaagatham, pandinchaali jeevitham,
neeku naaku e kshanam, Kaani raaga sangamam,
Nee jnaapakam.. Naa lona saagenu le ee vela sarasaku

These lines are the best part of both the stanzas. Be it the composition, or the singing or the lyrics, just flawless from all the musicians. Magic happens when best output comes from superlative musicians. In particular, I fell in love with Chithra's singing for the above lines. I can just hum this song portion for the entire day. If I need to pick one female telugu solo song which is magical, mellifluous, evergreen and soul-touching, I will not look beyond ‘Ninnu Kori’.














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