Gireesh Puthenchery (48), one of the most prolific lyricists of Malayalam cinema of the last two decades, died of brain haemorrhage at a private hospital in Kozhikode on Wednesday night.
Over the last 20 years, no other lyricist penned as many hit songs in Malayalam cinema as he did. He was also one of the most honoured lyricists, having won the State award seven times, of which four were in consecutive years - 2001 to 2004.
Critics may have found fault with some of his songs, but Gireesh, who made his debut in 1990 with ‘Enquiry’ and went on to write about 2000 songs, was also capable of fine poetry. “Pinneyum pinneyum aaro…”, a beautiful song he wrote for ‘Krishnagudiyil Oru Pranayakalathu’ (1997), is a good example. Set to tune brilliantly by Vidyasagar, it was the best song by Gireesh.
Gireesh had formed a melodious partnership with the well-known Vidyasagar to create some lovely melodies in films like ‘Pranayavarnangal’ (“Aaro viral meettee…”), ‘Meesa Madhavan’ (“Karimizhi kuruviye…”), ‘Chandranudikkunna Dikkil’ (“Oru kunju poovinte…”), ‘Summer in Bethlehem’ (“Oru rathri koodi…”) and ‘Randam Bhavam’ (“Marannittumenthino…”).
The late Raveendran was another composer who teamed up with Gireesh to come up with hits. Their most popular songs include “Harimuraleeravam…” (‘Aaram Thampuran’), “Karmukil varnante…” (‘Nandanam’) and “Kalabham tharam…” (‘Vadakkumnathan’).
Among other notable songs of Gireesh are “Soorya kireedom…” (‘Devasuram’), “Enthu paranjalum…” (‘Achuvinte Amma’), “Kannu nattu…” (‘Kathavasheshan’) and “Amma mazhakarinu…” (‘Madambi’).
Gireesh’s talent as a composer was little known. He had tuned an album of devotionals songs and this writer was with him at a studio in Kozhikode when G. Venugopal recorded some of the songs.
Gireesh was also a scriptwriter. His first screenplay was ‘Kinnaripuzhayoram’, an enjoyable comedy starring Jayaram and Sreenivasan, and though it was a promising start, he wrote only two more scripts after that.
‘Vadakkumnathan’, the film for which he wrote his last script, was a box office hit and he had plans to write another script and even direct a film, but that, unfortunately, was not to be.