As the world celebrates international music day, Keralites all over the globe are mourning the demise of their favorite poet S Rameshan Nair. Meanwhile, his son Manu Ramesh is devastated that he has lost his wife and father within a period of just three months.
Rameshan Nair who penned the extremely poetic lines ‘Poomukha Vathilkal Sneham Vidarthunna Poonthinkalukunnu Bharya’ had surely ignited the imagination of a generation of youngsters. Meanwhile, he depicted the familial bonds as ‘Cheruthari Sukamulla Novu’ or the love that cares for you even if it hurts a bit.
I had met Rameshan Nair for the first time as the father of Manu, who was my son Vivek’s close friend. Moreover, our families were neighbors at the Kukkiliya Lane in Jagathy at Thiruvananthapuram. Manu used to come to our house to play video games and cricket with Vivek. It was only later that I came to know that Manu’s father was a well known poet and lyricist. It, in fact, elevated my respect for him. We were living at the Kukkiliya Lane when Rameshan Nair wrote the super hit songs like Oru Rajamalli and Aniyathipravinu Priyamivar Nalkum. Meanwhile, songs like O Priye and Ennum Ninne Poojikkam made Ramehsan Nair one of the most sought after lyricists of the time.
In an impressive feat Rameshan Nair had translated the iconic Tamil epic Thirukkural written by Thiruvalluvar into Malayalam. Moreover, he had penned hundreds of devotional songs praising Lord Krishna. It was around this time that he had penned a radio play called Shatabhishekam which gained him incredible fame. Even though the play wasn’t noticed immediately after it was aired, the news of it had appeared in the Malayala Manorama newspaper. Some were quick to notice similarities between the play’s protagonist Kinginikuttan and veteran Congress leader K Karunakaran’s son Muraleedharan. Some of his friends in Akashavani persuaded Rameshan Nair to publish the play into a book, which had then become a best seller. Even though he was known as a leading lyricist and poet, it was the play Shatabhishekam that proved to be financially lucrative for Rameshan Nair.
Rameshan Nair was extremely humble and was hardly interested in letting the world know that it was him who wrote the super hit songs that have charmed the Malayali music lovers. He had never acknowledged his popularity, let alone take pride in it.
In his last days, the veteran poet was devastated by the unexpected demise of Manu’s wife Uma. Even though I called Manu on the phone to offer my condolences, I knew that a few meaningless words couldn’t console him. Manu should find the strength to overcome this pain as he is the only one left for his five year old daughter and his mother. All I could tell him was to not lose hope. I am sure he can maturely handle the irrevocable losses. There is a talented poet and musician in Manu as well. Even though he had composed music for a few movies, he didn’t get the popularity that he deserves, as the movies weren’t noticed. I am sure that Manu who has inherited his father’s amazing creative prowess would one day become a celebrated artist.