Ellarum Chollanu Song from Neela Kuyil – Lyrics in English with Translation

Song: Ellarum Chollanu from Neela Kuyil (1954)

Lyrics: P Bhaskaran

Music: K Raghavan

Playback: Janamma David

Filmed on: Miss Kumari, Sathyan

Ellarum Chollanu Song from Neela Kuyil – Lyrics in English with Translation

Ellaarum chollanu ellaarum chollanu

Kallanee nenchilennu…. karinkallaanu

Karinkallanu nenchilennu

Everyone is saying

Everyone is saying

Your heart carries stone

A big granite stone

Njnanonnu thottappol neela karimbinte

Thundaanu kandathayyaa

Chakkara thundaanu kandathayyaa

But when I touched it,

What I saw was

A slice of sugarcane

What I saw was

A sweet sugarcane slice


Nadaakae chollanu naattaarum chollanu

Kaadaanu karalilennu

Kodum kaadaanu

Kodum kaadaanu karalilennu

The whole world says,

Natives also say

Your heart is forest

A dense forest

Njaanannu keriyappo neela kuyilinte

Koodanu kandathayyaa

Kunji koodanu kandathayyaa

But when I entered

What I saw was a nest

Of a blue cuckoo,

A small nest is all I saw


Enthinnu nokkanu enthinnu nokanu

Chandiraa nee njangale

Ayyo chandiraa

Ayyo chandiraa nee njangale

Why are you looking?

Why are you looking at us?

Moon, O moon

Njaanilla meppott njaanilla meppott

Kalyaana chekkanund

Thaazhe kalyaana chekkanund

Am not coming up

Am not coming up

My groom is down here,

Groom is here


Chendonnu vaanganam mundu murikkanam

Poothaali kettidenam

Ponnin poothali

Ponnin poothali kettidenam

Have to buy bouquet

Cut *mundu

Have to tie a thali(mangalsutra),

A golden thali

Kaliyalla kilivaalan vettila thinnente

Chundonnu choppikkenam

Ente chundonu choppikenam

Not joking, I’ve to chew tender betel leaves,

& Redden my lips

I’ve to redden my lips.

Ennalum Eppozhum….

Yet always….

Ellaarum chollanu ellaarum chollanu

Kallanee nenchilennu…. karinkallaanu

Karinkallanu nenchilennu

Everyone say

Your heart carry stone

A big granite stone

End note:

*Mundu – *wedding dress. In this case, it’s dhoti worn by village girls that time. Movie is the story of a dalit girl. It can be traditional set mundu also. It’s possible, dhoti was available those days in bit pieces or cut in desirable measurements. That’s why she is singing about ‘cutting mundu’. There was a time when sari was a privilege to upper classes only. The movie was made in early 50s.

Neelakuyil (Blue Cuckoo, 1953) was a landmark film, the first Malayalam movie to win a National award. It was one among the first Malayalam films with a new script, rather than adaptions, & 2 of its songs became immensely popular.

If we look back till mid-1950s, no doubt, Ellarum Chollanu written in local dialect, not pure Malayalam, was the most popular romantic track. A folklore type classic, it depicts what the girl understood about her man & his real heart, though the world thinks otherwise.

Though the 1st line looks like ‘Pathar Ke Sanam’ it’s most seen as a teasing or fun-filled song for lovers, and has been frequently used in trolls & mimes. Simple lines have deep metaphors like cuckoo nest (foretelling the story). But what I liked most is comparing his heart to sugarcane piece instead of sugar, raw, pure, hard but unadultered sweetness.

When she tells moon, she is not coming up, she is clearing her stand that she won’t leave him even if heaven calls!! She also shares her marriage dreams with him, her preparations for intimacy saying, reddening her lips with betel leaf; Yes, everything as metaphors.

Rare are such songs, very simple lines, but can be interpreted in different ways, even based on our mood. Lyrical beauty, so subtle with deep meanings about promises of a bond.


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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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