A prolific lyricist who penned many a hit

Poovachal Khader   | Photo Credit: VIPIN CHANDRAN

Poovachal Khader, who died in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday at the age of 72 while undergoing treatment for COVID-19, was a most prolific lyricist who penned several all-time hit songs in Malayalam cinema.

In a career that spanned over five decades, he wrote over a thousand songs for more than 350 films. He was so busy in the late 1970s and 80s that he took leave from his job at the Public Works Department – he had a diploma in Engineering – to concentrate on his alternative career in cinema.

Poovachal Khader, who used to write poetry from his student days and went on to pen songs for the stage and radio, caught attention right from his early days in cinema. His two songs in the 1973 film Kattu Vithachavan – Neeyente prarthana kettu… and Mazhavillinanjnathavaasam… – were hits. Then the songs of Ulsavam (Aadya samaagama lajjayil…and Swayamvarathinu) established him as a lyricist to reckon with.


Among his chart-toppers are Naathaa nee varum kalocha… (Chamaram), Shararanthal thiri thaanu… (Kayalum Kayarum), Sindoora sandhyaykku mounam… (Choola), Ente janman neeyeduthu…(Itha Oru Dhikkari), Etho janma kalpanayil… (Palangal), Ponveene… (Thalavattam), Naanamaavunno… (Aattakalasam), Poomaaname… (Nirakkoottu) and Anuraagini itha en… (Oru Kudakkeezhil).

The accent on meaningful lyrics may have become less in Malayalam film music by the time Poovachal’s career peaked, but he came up with beautiful, poetic lines in song, such as Naathaa nee varum and Aadya samaagama lajjayil… (Ulsavam). That was also the time when a tune was composed first and the lyricist was asked to write lines accordingly. He was still able to write some fine lines.

Not many know that he wrote one of the most popular light songs in Malayalam – Jayadeva kaviyude…, which was set to a lilting tune by M.G. Radhakrishnan. Through songs like that, Poovachal will always be remembered.

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Printable version | Aug 2, 2021 6:10:51 AM |

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