Favorite Kannada poetic numbers in movies!

One of the most favorite topics, when it comes to film music, is the discussions on the poetic songs opted for the movies. It indeed takes a lot of diligent effort on the part of the director to find an extremely good poem, written by a poet, and also tailor make a scene just for that purpose. Puttanna Kanagal, I feel was one such director, with supreme ability to conjure situations and scenes, that were a visual imagery of the poems used. The early morning song “Mudala maneya muttina neerina” in the movie “Belli Moda”, “haaDu haLeyadAdarEnu bhAva nava navIna” for the movie “Maanasa Sarovara”, “uttara dhruvadin dakshina dhruvaku” from the movie “Sharapanjara” are but a few testimonies for his impeccable talents and skills. A lot of the directors time and again, have given prominence to not only include the poems as songs, but also the novels written by famed writers as the plot for the movies. Anyways, right now, here is a list of my favorite songs based on the poems written by renowned poets of Karnataka.
  1. Teredide mane O bA atithi – composed by Kuvempu adopted in the movie “Hosa belaku” sung by S Janaki and Vani Jayaram. This is my most favorite composition, not just because of its lyrical/verbal beauty, but also because of the depth in its philosophical significance. It is a pleasure to listen to the song sung by 2 stalwarts of the Kannada Film Music.
  2. Moodala Maneya Muttina Neerina – composed by da.ra. bendre, adopted in the movie “Belli Moda” sung by S Janaki. This song is my mom’s most favorite song. It beautifully captures the beauty of the early morning, and helps the listener visualize the perfect morning crispness in each of its words! I’d say, if you miss out on the early morning sunrise, listen to this song, and you will see the sun rise once again!
  3. Doni Saagali Munde Hogali – composed by Kuvempu, adopted in the movie “Miss Leelavathi”, sung by S Janaki. Like other of Kuvempu’s compositions, it is rich in words, and philosophy – ninne ninnege iMdu iMdige iraLi naaLeyu naaLege, brings about the wanton abandon of a person who wants to just go on a long boat ride, in the dancing water waves.
  4. Uttara dhruvadin dakshina dhruvaku – composed by da.ra.bendre, adopted in the movie “Sharapanjara” sung by S Janaki, and P B Srinivos. Another beautiful and titillating number filled with tongue twisting words that add an elegance to the song – akshi nimIlana maaDada nakshatrada gaNa gaganadi haaradide…. one can clearly see the sheer genius of bendre at play here! (thanks to Sushma for the correct lyrics)
  5. Nesara Nodu Nesara Nodu – composed by Masti Venkatesha Iyengar, and adopted in the movie “Kaakana Kote”, which is Masti Venkatesh Iyengar’s work. I guess this song was sung by Smt. Sulochana. The movie by itself was wonderful, picturesque and visually rich in its camera work, the song augments this and has been brilliantly shot.
  6. Aa Bettadalli Beladingalalli sulidaada – composed by Siddalingaiah, and adopted in the movie “Baa nalle Madhuchandrake”, this song has been brilliantly sung by SPB. The music score being my Hamsalekha has added an extra lustre, that seems to only be shadowed by the immensely forgettable hero and heroine. But that apart, the song is extremely romantic and makes for an ideal honeymoon song! 😉
  7. Deepavu ninnade gaaliyu ninnade – composed by K S Narasimha swamy, and adopted in the movie “Mysooru Mallige”, sung by S Janaki. This movie was based on the collection of poems by Sri KSN’s book of the same title. It is difficult to mention just one song among the ones adopted, as each of the songs are different and extremely wonderful in their own level. It is sheer pleasure to listen to the variety of songs filled with love, romance, devotion and innocence.
  8. Nammoora Mandaara Hoove – composed by Doddarange gowda, adopted in the movie “Alemane” – sung by SPB. Sincerely speaking, I’d put this song, way above in the top 5. But it took me a long time to finally decide that though he composed this song for the movie, I would still like to call this a poem. This is one of the most romantic songs ever composed, with such a panache of romance that it seems supremely wasted on the heroine! She waltzes around as if shez a drunkard! It is a crime to picturize such wonderful songs, on such unworthy lead females.
  9. Kempaadavo ella kempaadavo – another composition of P Lankesh, adopted in the movie “ellindalo bandavaru” sung again by SPB.

One can easily see the moments when the poems have been adopted. They either sing of the brilliance of nature, or that of the various human relations – be it love, hatred, betrayal or devotion. I am sure that there is a vast repertoire of equally brilliant compositions waiting to be discovered amidst the myriad works of so many accomplished writers, and poets. But do we have the diligent directors, who are ready to put in their time for this? Now, that is a billion dollar question!


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    • anukta on December 27, 2005 at 7:44 AM
    • Reply

    It was a golden era of Kannada film music. Directors and Producers were like that. Now, a deep grief fills the mind when I think(I hard-ly listen to them, because of the intolerable lyrics) of recent film music.

    • Praveen on December 27, 2005 at 6:42 PM
    • Reply

    While I do concur with your emotions about the melodies of the erstwhile, which are evergreen, I also feel the need for a constant cycle that an industry has to go through. There are a lot of songs of the recent genre, that I strongly believe that are very good. I would be really happy to make you listen to them and see what you feel about them. What say you? 🙂

    • anukta on January 6, 2006 at 7:47 AM
    • Reply

    I don’t say there are not but not upto the real potential of music composers.We have a big talent pool in Karnataka which can give us good composition and stop gen x from degrading creativity in KFM.
    So, where is the list?

    • samanvitha on January 8, 2006 at 3:22 AM
    • Reply

    rofling at the “heroine-addicted- look” heroine of nammura mandara hoove song..
    I laughed my guts out the first time I saw it..
    when the hero..whoever he is..comes close to kiss her..naachkoLo badlu..she makes a puking face..lol..almost like he has a bad breath!

    • Sri on January 15, 2006 at 10:08 PM
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    praveen: and i was thinking allformusic was meant for your non-KFM tastes 🙂

    nice writeup, but one blunder – neene saakida giNi is not kuvempu’s, PK asked VNSimha to write it to vent out his frustration over aarati, on screen exceptionally shot by the master film maker

    • Praveen on January 29, 2006 at 4:09 PM
    • Reply

    @Sri:- Thanks Sri.. I have corrected that one bit from the list! Nevertheless, even if VNSimha had written, I would personally rate it as a poetic work! 🙂

    • Shree on May 26, 2009 at 10:04 AM
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    It is quite ironic that you have left out most of the names of master music composers who have added beauty to the lyrics, and are sometimes the main reason that make these numbers memorable.

    1 – M Rangarao
    2,3,4,9 – Vijayabhaskar
    5,7 – C Ashwath
    8 – Ashwath Vaidi


    • KOTUR SAMPATH on September 22, 2012 at 4:12 AM
    • Reply

    Song no.5 Nesara Nodu Nesaara nodu …. of Kakana Kote Drama/film is original work of Maasti Venkatesh Iyengar himself who wrote the play. Your mention of P.Lankesh as the poet is incorrect.

    Kotur Sampath

  1. @Kotur: Point duly noted and I’ve corrected the post! Thanks for pointing it out!

    @Shree: Call it a justification of my lack of knowledge or sheer rationalization, I haven’t really been very prompt in keeping myself updated about the music composers as diligently as I have attempted to remember the lyricists/poets. Having said that, there is absolutely no two arguments about the importance of music composers in the success of a song, and making it memorable. Infact, many songs with otherwise passable lyrics, suddenly become a major sensation – thanks to the music.

    Thank you for giving the info on the music composers for those songs.

    • Prasad H M on December 15, 2020 at 11:08 PM
    • Reply

    Jeevana sanjeevana from Hanthakana Sanchu, baa chakori chandramanchake from eddelu manjunatha, yaava kalada shastra enhelidarenu from Ananthu vs nusrath.. these are Kuvempu writings ♥️?

  2. @Prasad H M, thank you for that bit of information! I had no idea they were poetic compositions of Kuvempu!

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