‘Kalyana Then Nila’ from the film Mounam Sammatham, featuring Mammootti and Amala showcases all of Ilaiyaraja's musical abilities in just 4 minutes and 41 seconds.
Set in the romantic and evocative raga Darbari Kannada, ‘Kalyana Then Nila’ starts with a soothing rhythm, a beautiful guitar piece which then leads into a short string and flute jughalbandhi.
A second’s pause and Yesudas' stunning vocals fill the room. Yesudas is one of those few artists who can make the listener feel and experience the lyrics of the songs. The ease and playfulness with which he entices the listener is almost ridiculous!
The female vocals are effectively introduced halfway through the first charanam. Chitra, also known as 'Isaikuyil Chitra' (Nightingale Chitra), whose voice was even sweeter and absolutely crystal clear in her early days, certainly does her title justice in this composition.
Words almost fail to describe both singers' abilities to render their parts so effortlessly and with such emotion which is echoed in every word.
Subtle undertones of coyness and romance highlight the honeymoon setting (Kalayana Then Nila literally means Wedding Honey Moon) and both actors play a wonderful part in translating the song onto the screen.
An important point must be noted about the lyrics of this song by Pulamaipithan: each line ends with the syllable 'la', a deliberate twist which puts a unique stamp on this truly mesmerizing composition.