Before sharing some information about the song I have chosen for this Christmas, I would like to talk about how we began to celebrate the festival, at our home. While Dad was busy earning for the family, Mom was the one, who brought us up, single-handedly. She inculcated the quality of being secular in our life. Besides, we saw movies that upheld secularity as the theme in it. But, coming from a Hindu family, we had never celebrated Christmas until 2 incidents changed our lives.
The first incident was when I got a University seat for my M.Sc. (Botany) in St. Xavier’s, Mumbai. This was a miracle in my life because I had never imagined that I would get admission to one of the best colleges in Mumbai. I would send Christmas greetings to the Botany department professors. After I completed the post-graduation, Mom became ill and had to be admitted to a high-end hospital, in Mumbai. We could see the Mount Mary Church through the window near her bed. Initially, the doctors were baffled about what was ailing her. They even suspected cancer because the calcium, in her blood, shot up and came down, regularly. I prayed to Mother Mary and said, “If you do not save my Mom, I will throw all the sacred idols (Mom’s collection) in the Bandra creek, near the church.” Soon, she was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis and the doctors began the right medicines. She was discharged, soon. I know how I spent those 24 days. Though the calcium levels darkened her raw sandalwood color face, I still thanked Mother Mary that She saved my mother’s life. Beginning that year, we have been celebrating Christmas at home.
I wanted to post the review of a song having Christmas flavor. I knew this song and also knew that this movie had been remade into AVM Productions’ Hindi movie Miss Mary (1957). The Hindi movie was an almost exact copy of the original with the same dialogues albeit translated into Hindi. I thought that when there is Ennai aalum Mary Mata in the Tamil version, there should be some other song equivalent to it in the Hindi version. But, the entire song has been cut so that the progress to the next scene is abrupt. I did not find the song from the other sources on the net, either. 🙁 Therefore, I am sharing the review of the original Tamil song, which is quite close to what I wanted to share.
Movie – Missiamma (1955)
The song, Ennai aalum Mary Mata, appeared in the Vijaya Productions’ Tamil dramedy Missiamma (1955) directed by L V Prasad and produced by B Nagi Reddy and Aluri Chakrapani. The movie starred Savitri, Gemini Ganesan, Jamuna, etc. The story was based on 2 Bengali novels Rabindranath Maitra’s Manmoyee Girls School and Sharadindu Bandopadhyay’s Detective. The Tamil movie highlighted the social causes of corruption, unemployment and freedom of worship.
Zamindar Gopal (S V Ranga Rao) runs a school in Aandipettai village. He is in the process of replacing the teacher currently teaching with someone having higher qualifications and looks for a married couple for 2 posts. A young man Balu (Gemini Ganeshan) wants to apply to the ad. But, he is unmarried. Circumstances bring him and an unmarried girl Mary face to face. This girl is also looking for a job to pay off her father’s loan. But, she is a Christian. In those times, there were strict and unwritten rules against inter-religious marriages. Balu convinces her to play the role of his wife for the jobs’ sake. They present themselves as man and wife to the zamindar and they get the jobs. Mary also teaches music to the zamindar’s younger daughter Sita (Jamuna).
Having lost their elder daughter during a temple festival 15 years ago, the zamindar and his wife (Rushyendramani) begin to look upon Mary as their daughter, Mahalakshmi, in whose name the school is being run. Fed up of too much attention, Mary sings this song to reveal her actual religion. Balu has already explained to the zamindar and his wife that his wife has been possessed by a Christian ghost!
Song – Ennai aalum Mary Mata
Ennai aalum Mary Mata was written by Thanjai N Ramaiah Dass and the music was composed by S Rajeshwara Rao.
The song goes this way, “O Mother Mary, the ruler of my life, you are the only support I have.”
Video – Ennai aalum Mary Mata
Cinematography is by Marcus Bartley.
The video opens with Rushyendramani, S V Ranga Rao and Gemini Ganeshan looking at the camera as the music begins in the background. Savitri hangs a picture of Mother Mary on the wall and begins to sing this song. The others exchange glances. Soon, the song ends abruptly and the video also ends with the camera focusing on Rushyendramani, S V Ranga Rao and Gemini Ganeshan looking perplexed.
Ennai aalum Mary Mata was sung by P Leela for Savitri. Gemini Ganeshan, S V Ranga Rao, Rushyendramani and others look on.
Ennai aalum Mary Mata highlights the Christian belief all over the world (except for Mormons). The song and the artists are good. The video is watchable for the same.