Ramesan Nair penned many of Malayalam’s finest devotional songs

Ramesan Nair  

S. Ramesan Nair, who died at Kochi at the age of 73, was a poet and lyricist who had to his credit several hit Malayalam film songs. But his biggest legacy though is his devotional songs, many of which are among the finest and most popular in the language.

His first album was, in fact, was a devotional one. It came four years before he debuted in cinema in 1985 with Pathamudayam, from which the melody Mangalam paadunna sangeetham... gained attention.


He followed it up with more hits like Vanasree mukham nokki… (Rangam), Poomukha vaathilkal… (Rakkuyilin Ragasadassil), Neeyen kinaavo… (Hello My Dear Wrong Number), Kunnathoru Kunniludichu... (Abhayam Thedi), Chandanam manakkkunna… (Achuvettante Veedu), Oru poo viriyunna… (Vicharana), Devasangeetham neeyalle…(Guru), O priye…(Aniyathi Pravu), Vibhavari raagam…(Rishyashringan), Mayilaayi parannu vaa.. Mayilipeelikkavu), Oru kunju poovinte… (Chandranudikkunna Dikkil) and Manju pole… (Dost).


Ramesan Nair wrote some 650 songs for close to 150 films.


His ardent ambition to become a lyricist led to the birth of arguably the greatest devotional album in Malayalam: Pushpanjali, which had songs like Vadakkumnathanu suprabhatham…, Vighneswara janma nalikeram…, Ambadi thannilorunni…, Mookambike…, Neelamegham…and Koodum pinikale…


Its composer P. K. Kesavan Namboodiri was his colleague at the Thrissur All India Radio station. “Pushpanjali wouldn’t have happened if Ramesan Nair was a little less ambitious,” Namboodiri had once told this writer. “He always wanted to be a lyricist and he had asked me on many occasions to compose some of his lines and make them sing by P. Jayachandran, a close friend of mine.”

Pushpanjali was a huge hit. It is doubtful whether any devotional album in Malayalam has had as much success.

One of those impressed with the songs of Pushpanjali was K.J. Yesudas, who called up Namboodiri to do record a devotional album for him. So the talented, but much underrated composer joined hands with Ramesan once again. The result was the Vanamala.

One song from the album stood out. Guruvayoorappante pavizhadharam muthum… is perhaps as good a devotional song as any in Malayalam ever.


You don’t have to be devotee of Lord Krishna to enjoy the song: it is sheer melody.

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 11:39:31 PM |

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