Najim Arshad, who won the Kerala state film award for the best male playback singer, says he is absolutely delighted as it was totally unexpected.
The popular singer, who debuted in 2007 with 'Mizhineer' in the Malayalam film 'Mission 90 Days,' got the award for 'Athmaavile' in last year's blockbuster 'Kettiyolaanu Ente Malakha.'
The haunting composition with lyrics by Hari Narayan captures the myriad moods of the hero Asif Ali and actress Veena Nandakumar.
There were times when he felt disappointed at some of his songs not getting the honour earlier but he took it in his stride, focusing on his singing instead.
"I used to switch off the TV at the time the awards were being announced over the years..did not want to feel depressed.....Now, this was totally unexpected, absolutely delighted, cannot express my happiness," he told P T I.
Arshad was holidaying with his family at Kerala's tourist haven Thekkady with his friend and music director William Francis, who composed the song, when the state film awards were announced on Tuesday.
Francis was the one who broke the news but Arshad did not believe it and only when his personal mobile phone started ringing did he realise it was true.
"It was an emotional moment. He had tears in his eyes but what made it doubly sweet was both our families were there at Thekkady and that he rendered my composition in my first project," Francis said.
Francis said he had composed and sung the song but wanted Arshad to do it.
"Initially, he was reluctant saying it was in 'high pitch' and he has not rendered such patterns but I was adamant and told him he could do it," the composer said.
Arshad then turned up at his flat and crooned it in 30 minutes.
Francis sent the recorded version to the movie's director Nissam Basheer who was absolutely stunned by the magical quality of the singing and immediately approved it.
"I have known him for over 12 years...I was eager to do it for my friend..crooning it was not easy..the song had quite a range," Arshad said.
The popular singer recently sang a duet with Harini for Telugu movie 'Nishabdham', which was released on an over the top platform earlier this month.