Where do you look for when you want to get the lyrics of that haunting Malayalam song? Google? Wrong. Go straight to MalayalaSangeetham.info (MSI).
The site holds a whooping amount of information on Malayalam songs â€“ over 17,500 songs from nearly 4200 movies, and songs from dramas and albums. You can get the lyrics, artists, year, and even the ragas and Youtube videos. The lyric of each song is available in both Malayalam and English, and you can convert it to a PDF for printing. The Google-customized search is one of its best features, even if you input in English â€“ you can get what you are looking for with remarkable accuracy.
The brain child of Ajay Menon, now a Colorado-based senior manager, MSI is a true community-based encyclopedia, with contributions from Malayalam music buffs all around the world. â€œThis is the most comprehensive site ever created for any kind of Indian music information. We have 99% of all songs ever created for Malayalam movies and its related information available on the site. In addition, we have very many analysis tools to understand and research the music which makes it a comprehensive research site too. Archives such as old pattupusthakams, memoirs from the artists and information hitherto never released are found hereâ€, said Ajay, in an interview with us.
MSI started in 2001 as a personal project to tag his iPod songs, but soon, Malayalees all over the world found it as an immensely useful project. The site currently receives over 2 million hits a month, mostly from India, Middle East and USA. Ajay attributes the success of this website to the many collaborators all over the world. â€œAuthenticity of information has been and always been the problem behind any effort like this. That is why forming a large group of people passionate about this field has been so important.â€
And what are his plans for the future?
â€œThe hope is that MSI becomes the one-stop shop for all matters pertaining to Malayalam music, essentially serving as the portal for all matters related to Malayalam music research, appreciation, analysis as well as commerce. With commerce, I do not mean that I have any intention of making money out of this, but artists, movie producers and such people will have their royalties, their new work and trends analyzed through this source.â€, says Ajay.
With the support and gratitude of lakhs of Malayalam music lovers behind him, Ajay and MSI are sure to blaze new trails in this journey.