An attack of madness. She describes it as "a swarming melee of manic energy seeking a focus". Chemmeen— the translation—was born of one such coup de foudre. I was between novels.

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Chemmeen lit. It was adapted into a screenplay by S. The film tells the story of a pre-marital and later extra-marital relationship between Karuthamma, the daughter of an ambitious fisherman, and Pareekutty, the son of an affluent trader. The theme of the film is a popular legend among the fishermen communities along the coastal Kerala State in southern India regarding chastity. If a married fisher woman is faithless when her husband is out in the sea, the Sea Goddess Kadalamma literally meaning Mother Sea would consume him.

It has cinematography by Marcus Bartley and U. Rajagopal, and editing by Hrishikesh Mukherjee and [K. The original score and songs were composed by Salil Chowdhury , with lyrics by Vayalar , and songs featuring the voices of K. Yesudas , P. Leela , Manna Dey and Santha P. The film released on 19 August It received strongly positive critical reviews and was recognised as a technically and artistically brilliant film. It is usually cited as the first notable creative film in South India.

It was screened at various international film festivals and won awards at the Cannes and Chicago festivals. A sequel, Thirakalkkappuram , was released in Karuthamma Sheela is the daughter of an ambitious fisherman, Chembankunju Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair. She is in love with a young fish trader, Pareekutty Madhu. Chembankunju's only aim in life is to own a boat and net. Pareekutty finances Chembankunju to realise this dream. This is on a condition that the haul by the boat will be sold only to him.

Karuthamma's mother Chakki Adoor Bhavani comes to know about the love affair of her daughter with Pareekutty, and reminds her daughter about the life they lead within the boundaries of strict social tradition and warns her to keep away from such a relationship.

The fisherfolks believe that a fisherwoman has to lead a life within the boundaries of strict social traditions. Karuthamma sacrifices her love for Pareekutty and marries Palani Sathyan , an orphan discovered by Chembankunju in the course of one of his fishing expeditions. Following the marriage, Karuthamma accompanies her husband to his village, despite her mother's sudden illness and her father's requests to stay. In his fury, Chembankunju disowns her.

On acquiring a boat and a net and subsequently adding one more, Chembankunju becomes more greedy and heartless. With his dishonesty, he drives Pareekutty to bankruptcy. After the death of his wife, Chembankunju marries Pappikunju C. Rajakumari , the widow of the man from whom he had bought his first boat. Panchami Lata , Chembankunju's younger daughter, leaves home to join Karuthama, on arrival of her step mother. Chembankunju's savings is manipulated by his second wife. The setbacks in life turns Chembankunju mad.

Meanwhile, Karuthamma has endeavoured to be a good wife and mother, but scandal about her old love for Pareekutty spreads in the village. Palani's friends ostracise him and refuse to take him fishing with them. By a stroke of fate, Karuthamma and Pareekutty meet one night and their old love is awakened. Palani, at sea alone and baiting a shark, is caught in a huge whirlpool and is swallowed by the sea.

Next morning, Karuthamma and Parekutty, are also found dead hand in hand, washed ashore. At a distance, there lies a baited dead shark and Palani. Once Ramu Kariat had decided to make a film based on the novel, he approached several people including the Kerala State Government for funds to produce the film. Then in his early twenties, Kanmani Babu agreed to finance the film. But some people at Purakkad demanded rent for their boats, forcing Kariat to shift the location to Nattika, a place he was familiar with.

He also described how Sathyan escaped being drowned in the sea during the shooting. Rajagopal gave the finishing touches to the film. The music was composed by Salil Chowdhary and the lyrics were written by Vayalar Ramavarma.

Chemmeen marked Salil Chowdhary's debut in South Indian music. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Indian film. For the novel on which the film is based on, see Chemmeen novel.

Main article: Chemmeen novel. Salil Chowdhury. IBN Live. Retrieved 24 May Malayala Manorama. The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 27 May Retrieved 29 May Jayakumar 25 November The Times of India. Retrieved 11 October Namespaces Article Talk.

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Puram Sadanandan. Chemmeen by Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai. Hrishikesh Mukherjee K D George. World Music. Chand Aur Suraj Chemmeen Yesudas, P. Leela, Chorus, K. Udayabhanu , Shantha P.


Book Review – Chemmeen (English Translation)

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ചെമ്മീൻ | Chemmeen

Chemmeen tells the story of the relationship between Karuthamma, the daughter of a Hindu fisherman, and Pareekutti, the son of a Muslim fish wholesaler. The theme of the novel is a myth among the fishermen communities along the coastal Kerala State in the Southern India. The myth is about chastity. If the married fisher woman was adulterous when her husband was in the sea, the Sea Goddess Kadalamma literally means Mother Sea would consume him. It is to perpetuate this myth that Thakazhi wrote this novel. It was adapted into a film of same name , which won critical acclaim and commercial success.


'Chemmeen' is a story that lives long after the book is read

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Indian literature has always fascinated me. However, due to my lack of skills in reading and writing any language fluently apart from English, I am losing out on large chunks of great Indian literary works. So all this while, I had to be content with reading Indian novels written in English. And it was really worth it. Still, I got the beauty and essence of the story, so surely translator Anita Nair has done a great job. She also tosses in a few Malayalam words at various junctures, which works really well for the story.

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