“Ini varunna thalamurakku ivide vaasam sadhyamo” (Will this land be livable for the coming generation?). That iconic song that helped in sowing the concept of nature preservation in the Malayalee psyche is now 30 years old. This song that was reverberated by all the nature lovers continues its unassailable journey to this day. No one knew the creator of this song for the longest time. Inchakkad Balachandran, the writer of this song who received no recognition or appreciation opens up about his life.
It’s been 12 years since Balachandran retired from his govt job. Here is someone who would gift countless poems about the environment and humanity to his friends.
Despite the overwhelming love he has received for his poem, Balachandran would rather remain incognito and disappear into a world filled with poems about humanity and nature’s beauty. He shows no excitement over the adulation he is getting when we meet at his Valanjamburathu house in Kollam.
In the middle of all this, he also survived a paralysis that affected him four months ago.
How the song originated?
It was in April 1992 that the Yuvakalashithi decided to take up the Kayamkulam lake rehabilitation project following the Karunagapally Alappadu Panchayath’s pollution issues. Inchakkad was the statists department officer at that time. He was joined by friend and officer PR Karma Chandran. They were the state organizers. Vallikkadu Mohandas was the captain. There was a 17 km environmental-friendly voyage from Azheekal to Pandarathuruthu. This event featured dignitaries like poet ONV Kurup and other environmental activists. But unfortunately, the poet forgot to write a special song he was assigned to do. The disappointed organizers decided to make do with the KPAC songs instead.
Suggesting a song
It was writer and dramatist Idakulangara Gopan who suggested that Injakadan write a song. That’s how the first line was born— “Ini varunnoru thalamuraykku”. He quickly finished 12 more lines and sang the song along with Gopan. This song which echoed throughout the voyage invigorated the journey and the environment. That was that. But two years later, suddenly everyone remembered this song at the Thiruvalla Dynamic Action camp for writers. Inchakkad sang this song, and it was a great reminder of his genius. The organisers encouraged him to write more. He added 40 more lines and finished the song.
The song which was composed by Pangodu Radhakrishnan and sung by Johnson was released as a Dynamic cassette as well as a book that year. It didn’t take much longer for the Shasthra Sahitya Parishath and Kanavu (Wayanad) to pick up the song which eventually reached schools. During an Adivasi revolt, singer Reshmy Satheesh presented this song. Bijith Chandran captured it on his new camera. This song was translated into various languages, including French.
In Cinema also
He was in touch with director John Abraham during the production of 'Amma Ariyan'. His first song (‘Azhakalila Manja charadile poothali) was in the film ‘Ashwaroodan’ composed by Jasi Gift. He also composed for the film ‘Shudharil Shudhan’. He wrote several songs and poems for children. He wrote a children’s film in the name of Kadhaparayum Muthachan and scripted, directed and wrote the lyrics for a children’s film called ‘Naropanishathu.’ He is currently busy with a new film called ‘Nootiyirupatham janmadinam.’ Born to Shooranadu Thekku Valanjapurathu Pachan and Kunjamma, the 68-year-old PK Balachandran’s childhood was always closely linked to the sea. From researcher Dr. Kunjupilla, he learned about sand radiation from a very young age. That’s how he started loving nature.
He lives with his wife Meena and children, Vimal Raj, Vineetha, and Vineeth.
Inchakkad is again inspired to write after witnessing the eroding Shasthamkotta lake owing to global warming. His words reflect the complexities of life.
Words are flowing—“Ellam vilkana changathi, labham koyyum changathi, ikkanum surya velichathinenthu vila vangum, ingozhukum ilam katilenenthu vilavangum.”
(“Friend, you are selling everything, only gaining, what’s the price for the sunlight and the wind?”)