Noted poet and lyricist Chunakkara Ramankutty no more

Noted poet and lyricist Chunakkara Ramankutty no more
Chunakkara Ramankutty

The song Devadharu Poothu from the 1983's hit romance movie Engane Nee Marakkum is enough for every Malayali to remember Chunakkara Ramankutty, its lyricist. In fact, the Thirumala native Ramankutty had the same song as his phone's ringtone for years. But when it rings again, he would not be there to answer it.

Chunakkara Ramankutty passed away at a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday. He had been battling age-related ailments lately. He was 84.

Born on January 19, 1938, Ramankutty is the son of Krishnan and Narayani of Chunakkara Karyattil House in Mavelikkara, Alappuzha. He graduated in BA Malayalam from NSS College in Pandalam, Pathanamthitta.

He was working as an employee of the Department of Industry and Commerce when we decided to take up the pen, and Malayalam drama and movie industries were better for it.

He started his creative career writing drama songs for several theatre groups including Kollam Assisi, Malankara Theatres, Kerala Theatres, National Theatres among others.

He made his film debut with the hit song 'Apsarakanyaka' from the 1978 movie Ashram. All the songs in the movie went on to become superhits, propelling Ramankutty into the hall of legends. Still, it is his simple songs that aired on All India Radio that remains the most endearing.

His other hit songs include Devi Nin Roopam, Sindoorathilakavu and Hridayavaniyile Gaikayo.

He has received several accolades including the Guru Shreshta Award of Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi in 2015.

A funeral will be held after a COVID test. Ramankutty is survived by his three daughters – Renuka, Radhika and Ragini, their husbands and grandchildren.

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