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Upper hand for Hamsalekha the lyricist

Hamsalekha the lyricist scores over Hamsalekha the music composer in this Shivarajkumar-Ambarish starrer

Devara Maga
Akash Audio
Rs 40

Ambarish is well past his youth, but still hasn't stopped playing the hero in song and dance melodramas. That he chose to play his age, and took up the role of Shivaraj Kumar's father, is welcome. Perhaps he will play at least some roles that suit his age. The story juxtaposes village innocence with city craftiness, and Devara Maga seems to be Bangarada Manushya revisited. That film was one of Rajkumar's biggest hits. G K Venkatesh had composed for it memorable songs like Nagunagutha nali nali and Aakashave beelali mele. If you expect tunes of that class, Devara Maga will disappoint you.

Hamsalekha has imported Hariharan and Anuradha Paudwal from Mumbai for a couple of songs. Bharatappa celebrates traditional vocations like pottery, weaving, smithy and clotheswashing, and Hamsalekha describes them with neatly rhyming lines and some memorable images (iron is described as butter in the ironsmith's hands). Hariharan's singing does not bring any extra dimension to the song, and a strong native voice would probably have done better justice to it.

In the folksy Bendakalura pakka, S P Balasubramanyam sounds so much better than Anuradha Paudwal, who is uncomfortable because of the high pitch, and the unfamiliar language.

Gowdaji gowdaji is an argument between SP and Chitra about which of the sexes is greater. It's an old argument that Hamsalekha has put into song form. More marks for the lyricist than the composer, but the composer does not do too badly either.

Thayilla thavarilla is a sentimental number by Rajesh Krishna and Chitra.

Side B opens with Ey nanji ningondu kel-la, sung by Rajesh Krishna and Manjula. The innocent hero is initiated into love by the heroine, and Hamsalekha uses images from folklore -- flower and bee, thread and needle -- to describe the erotic situation.

Vasantha bhoomige and Ey bille gowda gedda don't make much of an impression. Rajkumar winds up the album with Manjanthe ele mele, a song that restates the Gita-inspired philosophy that life should be lived with a degree of non-attachment. This isn't one of Rajkumar's best songs, but Hamsalekha again comes up with some striking lines.

Amritamati S

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