His poetic verses have given wings to some of the chart toppers in Malayalam.
A homeopath, Manu says his profession complements lyric writing. “In homeopathy, we see the patients as distinct individuals. The reasons and cure for their seemingly similar symptoms would be different. Quick analysis and judgment of what suit the situation is the key to treatment. The same goes for film songs too!” While saying that, Manu hastens to mention the names of S.G. Biju and Sarathchandran, his teachers and seniors in the field, also his mentors. “They helped me realise my dream in every way, insisting that I should not stop writing under pressures of the profession,” Manu says.
With technology advancing at a fast pace, the writer’s physical presence is no longer a necessity while creating songs. This too helps him continue with his practice while pursuing his passion. “But it is very important to establish a rapport with the director and music composer to do a fulfilling job. Both sides have to be receptive,” Manu insists.
The foot-tapping number ‘Mandaarame’ from Ohm Shanthi Oshaana, released one and a half years ago, still makes us smile and so does its lyricist Manu Manjith, and for more reasons. It has been a dream run for the young lyricist. Out of the eight releases in which he has penned at least one song, three went on to complete 100 days at the box office while Kunjiramayanam – for which he has written all the songs – has been running to packed houses. The songs ‘Thumbapoove Sundari…’ and ‘Salsa…’ had topped the charts even before the film released. And the title track, ‘Paavadathumbaale…’ has won him much love ever since it hit the screens.
At an age when digital devices invade our attention span and ability to concentrate, youngsters like Manu are successful in bringing back the much needed poetic substance to our film music. “It takes both an undercurrent of literature and technique. If a lyricist cannot hook listeners to the first few words of a song, they will switch to the next FM station or television channel,” Manu says.
He took to poetry during high school and immensely enjoys reading novels. “I am an avid fan of Gireesh Puthencherry, whose songs I grew up with,” Manu says. ‘Immini Ballya Kozhikode,’ a hit YouTube album on Kozhikode, which captures its ethos and heritage, helped him further in his course to becoming a lyricist.
Though it was for Koothara that he first wrote songs, Ohm Shanthi Oshaana was the first to release. ‘“Mandaarame’, composed by Shaan Rahman, gave me instant recognition. That ours was a team of beginners makes it all the more special. It was the debut of director Jude Anthany and script writer Mithun Manuel Thomas. It also catapulted Nivin Pauly into stardom as 1983 too was released in the same year.” The film also proved to be the start of a successful lyricist-music director pair as Manu went on to create many a hit with Shaan.
He is still awe-struck by the opportunity to write ‘Anthichoppil…’ for Lal Jose’s Vikramadithyan. “It was just my third film and I was being named with five senior writers for the film: Vayalar Saratchandra Varma, Rafeeq Ahamed, Engandiyoor Chandrasekharan, Anil Panachooran, and Santhosh Varma. The music was by Bijibal,” Manu says. “After listening to the track, Lal Jose said it was beyond his expectations and predicted that I would write many more songs in the days to come. It has been a huge inspiration,” Manu beams.
While Ormayundo Ee Mukham helped set the Manu Manjith-Shaan combo, Aadu Oru Bheekara Jeeviyaanu drew attention for its background lyrics as each character was introduced. In Oru Vadakkan Selfie, Manu wrote ‘Neelaambalin…,’ a romantic number.
The lyricist’s upcoming film is Style, in which he is working with Jassie Gift. Adi Kapyaare Koottamani and Muddugavu will see him pairing up with Shaan again.
- Ohm Shanthi Oshaana
- Ormayundo Ee Mukham
- Oru Vadakkan Selfie
Manu’s facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/manu.manjith