Hit Malayalam Songs And Their Other Language Counterparts

It cannot be denied that playing your favourite music gives you a healthy rush of dopamine. But what happens when you listen to your favourite hit Malayalam songs rendered in a language other than the one you are used to?

Also Read: Mollywood Songs That Aren’t Songs

Do you feel excited? Weird, maybe? You may wonder why it failed to ooze the same charm that the original song did. On the contrary, there may also arise those super rare times it may have surpassed the levels set by the original and have wowed you. The reactions would definitely be varied depending on the specific sets of songs we pick, but finding an identical song across the regional boundaries is always an interesting prospect. So, why don’t we go ahead and explore a list of hit Malayalam songs that have a long-lost twin across the borders?

Also Read: Malayalam Songs That Deserved Better Movies

Before we commence, I’d like to throw some light into what exactly this list would and would not comprise. This list will have songs that are exactly or almost alike in two different languages, which may or may not be composed by the same music director. What this list will not have are songs that are mindlessly dubbed into other languages (sparing the cringefest for a later time) or songs borrowed from the original movie for a movie remade in another language (so, please don’t ask Malare evde).  

Alright, let’s dive right in!

Thumbi Vaa

It is difficult to imagine this beautiful song in any other language, but believe it or not the song has not one, two but five forms across three non-Malayalam languages. Thumbi Vaa, which was originally made for the Malayalam movie Olangal, was adapted in a Tamil movie Auto Raja and later in a Telugu movie called Nireekshana. Much later, in the 90s, this song had a reincarnation (not exactly a likeable one) through the Hindi movie Aur Ek Prem Kahani. The latest adaptation of the song, which some of you might remember, was noticed in the 2009 Amitabh Bachchan starrer Paa.

Also Read: Unforgettable Title Songs Of Bygone Malayalam TV Serials

Fun fact: All these songs were composed by Ilayaraja

Pathinalam Ravinte

Long before the handsome Sheikh Jassim Khalid Al Mubarak Mehbali grooved to Pathinalam Ravinte in the movie Sharjah to Sharjah, the tune of this song was hummed by the whole of Persia when Shahram Azar (Sandy) released the song Eshge Bandhar in 1997. 

Ente Manassil Oru Naanam

The counterpart of this Malayalam song from the movie Thenmavin Kombathu dates back to our great grandparents’ heydays and can be discovered in the 1939 Hindi movie Kapal Kundla. Apparently, the Hindi song had a cult status in those times and is regarded as a ‘classic’. 

Maaleyam Maarilezhum

One of the most underrated romantic songs in Malayalam has got to be Maaelyam from the movie Snehapoorvam Anna. This song was composed by Raju Singh who later repeated the same tune in the movie Paagalpan. The cherry on the cake was that the Hindi version was also rendered by the original vocalists Sreenivasan and Chitra, which could be one of the reasons it sounds almost as good.  

Poovenam Poopada

This gem of a song by Johnson master was roped into the Priyadarshan movie Saath Rang Ke Sapne which was, by the way, a remake of the Malayalam blockbuster Thenmavin Kombathu. As a matter of fact, I happened to hear the Hindi version before the Malayalam version (blame it on the lack of Malayalam channels in UAE back in the 90s) and I kept wondering why the song sounded so Malayalam-like. It was only later that I realised that the lead singer gave it all the Malayali touch that it shouldn’t have had. On that note, I’d like you all to listen to this and guess who sang this song. If you get it right, oru painayiram roopa tharam!

Thannanam Thaanannam

This Ilayaraja melody from the 1985 movie Yathra has two foreign cousins. One is the controversial song, 7 Rings by Ariana Grande which came under the scanner for plagiarism in most parts of the song. The other is “These are a few of my favourite things” America’s beloved classic movie that was released in 1965.

Chitti Kuruvi

VK Prakash’s Mullavalliyum Thenmavum had a bunch of ear-candy songs out of which Chitti Kuruvi is one. Once this movie was wrapped up, VK had a short stint with Bollywood which gave birth to a movie called Freaky Chakra which bombed harder than Mullavalliyum Thenmavum. This song is probably the only saving grace that the movie can be attributed to. Oh, and in case you were wondering, both songs were composed by Ouseppachan. 


Priyadarshan’s Hindi remake of Thenmavin Kombathu had more than one song borrowed from Malayalam. Not sure how they thought the tunes of the melancholic Paathirakili from Mamnooty’s Kizhakkan Pathrose would do justice to the scenes that are the equivalent of those from Kalli Poonguyile.   


This might be something most of you have expected in this list simply because this song from the 2011 movie Arabiyum Ottakavum P Madhavan Nairum became the butt of all trolls when some sleuths found how similar it sounded to Rohy Mertahalak by the Arabic artist Amr Diab that came out in the year 2007.

No, this list doesn’t end with 9 pairs of hit Malayalam songs. Here are some more identical pairs across the regional/national borders: 

Sundari Onnu Parayu – Lion

Cheliya Tholi (Telugu)

Arike Ninnalum – China Town

Gaganave (Kannada)

Thaka Thaank Thakida Thom – Poonilamazha

Desperado (Spanish)

Maanathe Chandiran – Chandra Lekha

Nour El Ein (Arabic)

Ishal Thenkanam – Ghazal

Mujhe Pyaar Ki Zindagi (Hindi)

Panachikaada  – Achante Kochumol

Kambhakt Ishq Hai Jo (Hindi)

Did we miss any? Tell us in comments!


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