Making Malayalees Proud: Sherrin Varghese With His New Music Video ‘Madhuram Malayalam’
If you have been planning on taking a vacation, drop everything you’re doing right now and book your tickets to God’s own country. Ideally speaking, you shouldn’t need any persuasion however, in case you’re not convinced, Mumbai-based popular electronica artist, Sherrin Varghese and Kerala Tourism have done something absolutely breathtaking to change your mind.
In the year 2013, Sherrin Varghese appeared on the malayalee version of Big Boss called ‘Malayalee House’ on Surya TV, where he composed several songs in Malayalam. ‘Madhuram Malayalam’ was the second song after ‘Adipoli’, which saw a full blown video around Sherrin’s career in the south as a pioneering Mallu-Dubstep artist. Earlier this month, a splendid music video for ‘Madhuram Malayalam’ caught our eye. The video is shot across the length and breadth of Kerala covering all the 14 districts of the state and showcasing Kerala in a remarkable way that nobody has done before. The usual sightings in a video shot in Kerala would typically include the standard run-of-the-mill shots featuring Kathakali, Mohiniaatam, boat racing and rice fields. However, Sherrin has taken a step forward with his video and covered the unknown, unexplored Kerala and how!
“When I decided to make a video about Madhuram Malayalam, the only logical conclusion I had arrived was to showcase Kerala in a unique way. All my research on the internet showed me innumerable typical videos featuring only the standard 3-4 states hovering around Munnar’s tea estates, Fort Kochi’s Portuguese colonies, Alleppey’s backwaters, boat water races etc., so I wasn’t keen on doing the same. That’s when I stumbled upon some insanely beautiful landscape photographs of certain unknown locations in Kerala on Kerala Tourism’s Facebook page. Further research convinced me that my voyage into these unseen locations are what would stand out in a video and cut through the clutter. Digging into the length and breadth of Kerala I discovered some amazing hidden wonders in each district of Kerala, which had not been explored previously from a camera perspective.” says Sherrin.
So our man thought of capturing a lucid journey of unseen locations across Kerala on a helicam and display GPS tracking on the screen for people to get where he is at. While at it, he realised that he needed an activity at each of these locations like building something small or planting a tree or some charity work which can then become a tied up mission unifying Kerala in all of these places on camera.
While thinking about activities specific to Kerala, he stumbled upon the traditional rangoli of Kerala called ‘pookalam’ (meaning flowers, it is basically a rangoli made with flowers or flower petals) which turned out to be a great activity to do on camera. The tag line of the state “God’s Own Country” has 14 letters and coincidently there are also 14 districts in Kerala. “When it dawned on me what an impact a video with a journey capture of the drawing of these alphabets, when stitched together in the end, screaming the tag line of the state would have, it felt nothing short of a divine blessing and the universe conspiring and waiting for me to produce this video.” says Sherrin.
He roped in Mr. Georgy Jones from World Malayalaee Council, Abu Dhabi and Mr. Sheik Pareeth from Kerala Tourism to help produce this video. Bowled by the concept, Kerala Tourism agreed to co-produce the video and KTDC resorts across Kerala too came on board and helped with stay, food and location courtesies for a 15 member crew in all the districts with K.T.D.C resort availability. We asked Sherrin to talk to us about the actual concept and storyline of the song to which he said, “Madhuram Malayalam is literally a love story about Kerala. This song lyrically speaks about the grandeur of the land and is poetically woven around a honeydew pun with the word ‘Malayalam’, invoking a deep-rooted sentiment and a patriotic fervour. Malayalam, as we know is the toughest language from the South of India and also has the most developed vocabulary. Hence, a song in this language which praises "God's own country" is not only unique, but also very endearing to a Malayalaee, especially the ones living abroad.”
A 10 days rigorous shoot covering 1600 kms in Kerala saw a phenomenal release by the honourable Member of Parliament, Dr. Shashi Tharoor, making Madhuram Malayalam an iconic music video for people from Kerala and has also won Best Editor and Best Cinematography awards at the recent Neram film festival.
Sherrin Varghese with Dr. Shashi Tharoor at the release of Madhuram Malayalam
We asked Sherrin to tell us about his favourite destinations in Kerala and what are the must visit places there for when we take a vacation, “My favourite parts of Kerala would still be the undiscovered parts of the state which I could not shoot as I had roughly 3 options in each district to shoot; but off the top of my head, the best in no sequential order would be Varkala beach, Neyyar Dam and Kovalam Light House in Trivandrum, Bolgatty Palace in Kochi, Lake Palace Resort in Idukki, Tea County Resort in Munnar, Kollam Tamarind Hotel in Kollam and Thamarasherry Ghats in Wayanad. Also the north of Kerala is very well known for it’s food.” says the expert.
If you haven’t checked out the video as yet, click here. Enough said, pack your bags already! God’s own country is calling you!