A musical priest from Chengannur

Fr. Severios Thomas, superior of the Mar Gregorios Syrian Orthodox Dayara at Anikkadu, Pathanamthitta, thorough his melodious tunes of Mappilapattu has conquered the barriers of religion.

Mappilapattu, a Muslim folklore song, themed on religion, love, satire, and heroism, has long been the love of Fr. Thomas' life.

T. K. Hamza, the author of `Mappilapattinte Madhuryam', questions us on the beauty of the folklore song: "Can't you see the ethos in the lines? There is poetry that evokes thrill. That is what is missing in modern poetry." Such is the charm of the song, rendered in the Mappila dialect of Malayalam.

Fr. Thomas narrates the beginning of his tryst with the Mappila songs when Benny, his neighbour identified the finesse and efficiency in Thomas' rendition and presented him with Mappilapattu cassettes, eventually making a 15-year-old Thomas lose his heart for the fascinating world of Mappila songs.

He has become so popular among the Muslim community of his region that he is overcome by joy when he says "I have no words to express my happiness when they address me as ‘njangalude achan (our priest)."

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