THRISSUR:Kerala lost one of its master lyricist-cum-poets with the demise of Yusufali Kechery,81, who shared a high pedestal along with legends like Vayalar Rama Varma and P Bhaskaran, at a time when they strode like colossuses in the Malayalam film industry.
Yusufali, who was suffering from bronchial pneumonia for quite some time, has penned more than a thousand songs and poems in a career spanning more than five decades in the Malayalam film industry.
Yusufali, who born in 1934 as the younger son of Cheembayil Ahammed and Najmakutty of Elankulam in an ancient Muslim family at Kechery here, overcame the orthodox religious barriers prevalent in the 1950s to establish himself in the world of music. His evergreen songs have played a pivotal role in cementing the stardom of some of the superstars in the Malayalam industry including in the 1980s and 1990s. Some of the brilliant verses of Yusufali have even celebrated their golden, diamond and platinum jubilees. One cannot forget some of his evergreen and immortal songs like Omalale kandu njan, Anuraga ganam pole (Udyogastha), Surumayezhuthiya mizhikale (Khadeeja), Ikkarayanente thamasam (Karthika), Pathinalam ravudichathu (Maram), Ponnil kulicha rathri (Sindooracheppu), Nadapuram palliyile (Thacholi Ambu), Thedunnathare shoonyathayil (Ammu), and Kadale neelakkadale (Dweepu) and lot more.
Yusafali, who was encouraged by his elder brother, from whom he drew inspiration in the beginning of his career, started his career as a lyricist in the film ‘Moodupadam’ which was released in 1962. He also debuted as a producer-cum-screenplay writer with the film ‘Sindooracheppu’ in 1971. His directorial debut was in 1973 with the film ‘Maram’, scripted by M T Vasudevan Nair. In the 1970s, he directed movies like ‘Vana Devatha’ and ‘Neelathamara’, which was remade by director Lal Jose in 2009 with the same title. He had also served as Assistant Secretary in Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Akademi and a staff artist of All India Radio, Kozhikode, before making a foray into the world of music and films.