The trip to Mookambika transformed Keeravani, says Kaithapram

Kaithapram says he was overwhelmed on hearing that his close friend Keeravani had won the Oscars. File photos

Musician and lyricist Kaithapram Damodaran Namboothiri was undergoing a medical treatment at a hospital in Thrissur when he heard the news that music composer M M Keeravani had received an Oscar at this years 95th Academy Awards ceremony. Kaithapram who is a close friend of Keeravani says he was overwhelmed on hearing the news. Kaithapram's association with the music composer goes long back when they worked together for the Malayalam movie 'Surya Manasam'.

Kaithapram had written the lyrics for the superhit songs composed by Keeravani.


Kaithapram opens up about Keeravani’s musical journey…


Filmmaker Viji Thampi, who directed Surya Manasam, introduced Keeravani to me. Keeravani had a room in Chennai AVM studio where I met him first. I have been there many times. We have a close bonding. Three of us, Viji Thampi, Keeravani and myself sat down together to create the songs for the movie 'Surya Manasam'. Keeravani created a tune and I wrote the lyrics to match the tune.

In Surya Manasam, Putturumees- the character played by Mammootty, and his mother are always on a journey. Their life is like a sailing boat, not knowing where it has reached. The background for the song that was first created was this bonding between the mother and the son. Both of us, myself and Viji Thampi liked it when Keeravani hummed the tune ‘Thananana Thaana Thanannana…’ I wrote the lyrics ‘Tharalitha ravil mayangiyo.. suryamanasam’ for this tune.

The film did not have a title when this song was being created. The term ‘Surya Manasam’ in this song was later made into the title of the movie, he says.

“I would never forget the day Dasettan (singer K J Yesudas) came to sing this song. On that day, Keeravani recited a sloka (verse), which he recites every day. That was the same verse from Soundaryalahari that I used to recite too. Keeravani also narrated about his first trip to Mookambika to me. Keeravani had gone to Udupi to take part in a wedding. From there, he visited Mookambika unexpectedly. That trip transformed Keeravani. He renounced the extravagant lifestyle he followed till then, in Madras. He entered into ‘Sangeetha Sanyasa’, fully dedicating his life to music.

According to Kaithapram, it was Keeravani's total dedication and commitment that helped him bag an Oscar.

“I met him for the first time about 25 years ago. His music also changed with the times. But, he preserves the melody in music, even today. He has composed umpteen songs in Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi. My son Deepankuran is an ardent fan of Keeravani. I cannot forget the infinite, intense love Keeravani has for music,” he says.

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