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A dream debut for Bijibal

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Bijibal will be presented the sixth Mullassery Music Award by actor Sreenivasan in Kozhikode today.

One of the many good things about ‘Arabikkatha,’ the surprise hit of last year, was its music. The song, ‘Thirike njan…,’ is one of the best songs heard in Malayalam cinema for quite some time.

The song had everything: meaningful lyrics, brilliant rendering and an excellent tune.

It was indeed a dream debut for Bijibal, who composed that refreshing and haunting tune. And he richly deserves the Mullassery Music Award, which is given to the best music director in Malayalam cinema.

Fittingly, Sreenivasan, the actor on whom ‘Thirike njan…’ was picturised, will present the award to the promising young composer in Kozhikode on Friday.

“This is the first ever award I am getting, so I am very thrilled,” Bijibal told The Hindu on Thursday. “It is humbling to know that some great composers have been its recipients in the past.”

Indeed. The previous winners of the award, instituted in memory of Mullassery Raju, an ardent lover of music, include Johnson, Raveendran and Vidyasagar; it is also one of the few awards that recognise the contribution of a composer to film music.

Looking back at the song that fetched him the award, the Kochi-based Bijibal says it was tuned after the lyrics were written, not the other way around (the normal practice).

“I could come up with such a melodious tune only because the lines, written by Anil Panachooran, were really good,” he elaborates.

This classically trained violinist, who has since tuned songs in ‘Nasrani’ and ‘Minnaminnikootam,’ has also made his mark as a composer of background scores for films like ‘Cycle’ and ‘Rock N Roll’.

“Violin has always been my first love,” he says.

“And one of my most cherished memories is playing violin at a few Carnatic concerts of Srividya, the late actress. I was amazed by her knowledge in music and the way she wrote and composed bhajans; I remember her using uncommon ragas like Lavangi for one of her compositions.”

P. K. Ajith Kumar

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