Readings on Kerala (1A02ENG)
1. Why are the songs sung by Yesudas appealing to all Malayalis, old and young, alike? Bring out the difference between how Yesudas and the author perceive this universal popularity?
"The Voice" is a short column on the legendary singer K J Yesudas, written by Suresh Menon. The column article shares how his dreams kept his spirits high during his years of adversity. The writers observe the various ways in which Yesudas has become synonymous with the Malayali sensibilities of everyday life.
Yesudas is the common currency wherever Malayalis live. Malayali Samajams around the world measures their effectiveness by the number of times they can organize a Yesudas concert. Sometimes, there are two or three in the same city. He is part of the consciousness of a people. Yesudas songs are also part of the stories related to every relationship in the Malayali mind. Malayalis wooed their wives and girlfriends with his songs. Some of his songs accompany their heartbreaks too. There is a song for every occasion. Yesudas is the 'state treasure' in Kerala. Most Malayalis feel at home wherever they are in the world the moment a Yesudas song wafts through the music system. Like a character in Marcel Proust's novel, whose memories come alive when he tastes a kind of cake with his coffee, a Yesudas song shall help memories flooding back for all Malayalis the world over.
Yesudas had sung over 40,000 songs. When approaching his sixtieth year, Yesudas made a foray into experimental fusion music and sang in English for a South American COmposer. According to the author, being such an important personality is pressure on one's shoulder. However, Yesudas merely comments that it is the power of music that brings people together and he is merely an instrument in this process.
According to the author, Yesudas is incapable of an ugly note. He is among the most photographed people. Through four decades of being the Voice, Yesudas stuck to what he is best at. He kept his feet and vocal cords above all turmoil, political or otherwise. Malayalis find that reassuring, according to Menon.
Other notes: The Voice by Suresh Menon: Paragraph QuestionsREF: Multiple Modernities, edited by Board of Editors, Kannur University, Cohin: Hornbill Publishing House, 2019. Print.