Indian expat spends 11 yrs to pen book on S. Janaki

Indian expat spends 11 yrs to pen book on S. Janaki

Abu Dhabi - Pudukad was born into a family of S. Janaki lovers.


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Mon 29 Apr 2019, 9:04 PM

Last updated: Tue 30 Apr 2019, 2:24 PM

Abhilash Pudukad, an Abu Dhabi-based Indian expat, invested 11 years of his life to pen a book on playback singer S. Janaki, the nightingale of South India. 
The book 'Alapanathile Thenum Vayambum' is a collection of real-life stories behind some 2,140 Malayalam songs, from the 48,000 that S. Janaki recorded in 18 languages. Pudukad unveiled the English translation of the book - S. Janaki - The Eternal Nightingale - at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF). 
"The Malayalam book was recognised by Record Holders Republic as the 'largest book about an Indian female singer and her songs'. The book unveils details and tells the stories behind the 2,140 songs. And when my CEO went through the book, he was certain that it had to be translated into English to reach more people," Pudukad said. The translation was done at the behest of Dr Abdulla Al Neaimi, founder and CEO of SecureTech, where Pudukad works.
Pudukad was born into a family of S. Janaki lovers.
"My mother would put me to sleep with a lullaby of Janakiamma. Whenever a song was played on the radio, she would jot down the lines and teach me. Then, I started to write all her songs. My father would always buy audio cassettes, and soon enough, I had a collection of Janakiamma songs. I've always wanted to talk to her and see her in person."
And a shift to Abu Dhabi saw his dreams take flight. "I came to Abu Dhabi in 2003. An interaction with Sharjah-based Dr Shreekumar during an exchange of songs resulted in a phone call from Janakiamma. It was arranged by Dr Shreekumar as she came for an event but I couldn't speak a word as my mind went blank. I was told I could meet her on September 5, 2003. Later, she spoke to my mother over phone and that's how a special relationship started, and it still continues to this day. Janakiamma attended my wedding, too."

And with a huge collection of details about the singer, Pudukad decided to pen a book in 2004-05.
"Janakiamma put me in touch with other singers and music directors. I would visit and call everyone to finish my book by 2016 in two volumes. And now my CEO has supported with translation which was done by Lakshmi Nandakumar," Pudukad said.

More news from
The 'end of carelessness' in Europe


The 'end of carelessness' in Europe

Europe’s high-consumption lifestyle was also highlighted by a report from another sector that said the continent wastes more food than it imports, some 153 million tons, twice previous estimates