Malayalam lyricist Bichu Thirumala played his role in keeping intact a great tradition

Bichu Thirumala  


Though not a great poet perhaps in the mould of Malayalam lyricists such as O.N.V. Kurup, Vayalar Ramavarma and P. Bhaskaran, Bichu Thirumala still came up with beautiful poetic lines and gorgeous imageries.

The 1980s and 90s weren’t exactly the golden age of Malayalam film music – that was the 60s and 70s – but the likes of O.N.V., Yusufali Kechery and Bichu ensured that hundreds of great melodies in this period received the lovely lines they deserved.

Take for instance Bichu’s Vaakappoo maram choodum... from the 1976 film Anubhavam. It is composed brilliantly by the underrated A.T. Ummer, who, in fact, would go on to forge a formidable collaboration with Bichu. The tune is soft as a feather and gentle as fresh dew. And it is in the soothing, magical voice of K.J. Yesudas at his best.

Such a melody and such singing deserved great lines. Bichu provided them. If you go through the words, you would actually find a little love story within the song – of the gentle wind, that is.

Fruitful partnership

That song was among the earliest that made Malayalam cinema take note of Bichu. It also marked the beginning of one of the more fruitful, though not widely celebrated, partnerships in Malayalam film music, as he joined hands with Ummer to conjure up some unforgettable melodies.

Songs such as Neela jalaashayathil... (Angeekaram), Thushaara bindukkale... (Aalinganam), Raagendu kiranangal... (Avalude Ravukal), Nimshangal polum... (Manasa Vacha Karmana), Oru mayilpeeliyaayi njaan... (Aniyatha Valakal), Jalashankhu pushpam... (Ahimsa) and Kaalindee theeram thannil... (April 18) were created by the duo.

However, it was not for Ummer that Bichu wrote most frequently for. It was for Shyam. Their collaboration too brought out several memorable songs, such as Shruthiyil ninnuyarum... (Thrishna), Manjin thereri... (Rowdy Ramu), Nizhalaayi ozhuki varum... (Kalliyankattu Neeli), Kannum kannum... (Angadi), Oru madhurakkinaavin... (Kanamarayathu) and Vellaaram kunnum mele... (Revathikkoru Pavakkutty).

Jerry Amaldev was another composer whose beautiful melodies had lines by Bichu, in songs such as Mizhiyoram... (Manjil Virinja Pookkal), Aayiram kannumaayi... (Nokketha Doorath Kannum Nattu), Raavinte tholil... (Adukkanentheluppam) and Penninte chenchundil... (Gurujee Oru Vaakku).

Some of Bichu’s most popular songs were tuned by Raveendran – Ezhu swarangalum... (Chiriyo Chiri), Ottakkambi naadam... (Thenum Vayambum), Makale paathimalare... (Champakulam Thachan) and Valampiri shankhil... (Vasanthageethangal).

With songs like these, Bichu played his role in keeping intact the great tradition of film and light music of Malayalam.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 4:33:37 AM |

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