M.D. Rajendran has completed 25 years as a lyricist in the Malayalam film industry.
M.D. Rajendran: A way with words.
With more than 600 songs in more than 100 films, M.D. Rajendran's prolific output as a lyricist has earned him an enviable place in the Malayalam film industry. Mollywood is planning to felicitate MDR on his completing 25 years as a lyricist. From `Mochanam' in 1979 to `Thaskaraveeran,' a recent hit, his originality and lyrical lines have marked his songs.
It was Kakkanadan, poet, who invited him write the songs for `Mochanam.' The budding poet was taken aback when he was told that his first song had to delineate an erotic scene. Finally, when `Nagna sougandhika poo virinju' was recorded, the bewitching music scored by Devarajan and the meaningful lines of Rajendran won accolades for the team.
True, since then, he never had to look back. "But I think this is an occasion for me to look back, perhaps as a witness to the vicissitudes in the industry during this period," Rajendran said. He said he was lucky to have worked with all the music directors, except Baburaj. "But I have no regrets, since the lines penned by my father, Ponkunnam Damodaran, `Pachcha panam thathe, ponnara poo muthe' in `Nammalonnu' were tuned by Baburaj," he said.
MDR's lyrics in films such as `Shalini Ente Koottukaari,' `Parvathy,' `Ayalathe Abili,' `Oru Swakaryam, `Devaragam,' `Manjeera Dwani,' `Manssil Oru Manju Thulli,' `Koodum Thedi' and `Cholliyattam,' showcased his versatility and skill with words.
He holds that the works of Raghavan Master, Devarajan, Dakshinamurthy, Baburaj and Ilayaraja have been musically exhaustive. "None of them brooked any interference in their work, either by the lyricist or the director. This is reflected in the quality of the songs." he said.
It was by a mere happenstance that he could work with Bombay Ravi in `Manassil Oru Manju Thulli.' He wrote eight songs including, `Pournami poothinkale' (a Malayalam version of `Choudavin ka chand ho') with him. `Cholliyattam' was Ravindran's last but MDR's first with the maestro. "My experience with Jerry Amaldev was quite fascinating. `Vaachaalam, en mounavum' in `Koodum Thedi,' disproved the common belief that speed kills melody."
In a lighter vein
Known widely for his humorous outpourings in both literary and film circles, MDR is critical of the new generation of lyricists. While extolling the all-pervasive influence of Vayalar Rama Varma, he quipped, "Imagine a situation if Vayalar returned to real life now; he would take most of our lyricists to court." As for the singers, he said, "We have a crop of new singers now; but Jesudas will continue to be invincible, even if he stopped singing."
Rajendran has proved that he is equally proficient in music direction. `Neelanjanam' was his debut, the latest being `Nilavu Peyyumbol,' which is yet to be released.
`Sreepaadasthuthi' a collection of Melpathur's 70 slokas is a CD that vouches for his musical genius. This senior announcer of All India Radio, Thrissur, attributes his musical prowess to the organisation that he has been serving for the last 30 years.
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