Ramesan Nair: Lyricist who mastered different genres

He died at a private hospital here where he had been undergoing treatment after testing positive for Covid.

Published: 19th June 2021 06:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th June 2021 06:18 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Three years ago when S Ramesan Nair was selected for the Kendra Sahitya Akademi award, filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan said he had actually deserved a bigger honour like Jnanpith Puraskar. Poet and lyricist Ramesan Nair didn’t wait for that honour and succumbed to Covid on Friday evening.
Over the last 40 years, Ramesan Nair had won the hearts of Malayali readers and listeners through his poetry, film songs and devotional songs. He has more than 450 film songs to his credit and some of them have found place in the evergreen list of melodies. He died at a private hospital here where he had been undergoing treatment after testing positive for Covid. He was 73.

Ramesan Nair’s masterpiece, ‘Guru Pournami’, the poem based on the life of Sree Narayana Guru, won him the Kendra Sahitya Akademi award in 2018. Malayali readers had tasted the nectar of Tamil classics ‘Chilapathikaram’ and ‘Thirukkural’ through the translations of Nair.

His debut film as a lyricist was Pathamudayam for which he penned songs in 1985. Nair who had worked with Kerala Sahitya Akademi briefly later joined All India Radio as a producer. The radio drama ‘Sathabhishekam’ written by him in 1994 triggered a political storm in Kerala. The devotional audio album, ‘Mayilpeeli’, released in 1993 for which he wrote nine songs — composed by Jayan of Jaya-Vijaya duo — praising Lord Krishna had created a sales record.

Recipient of many awards

songs from the album along with the devotional song ‘Vighneswara Janma Nalikeram’ in another album is still the most-played Hindu devotional songs in the state. Some of the well-known film songs that he penned were 'Kalyaanappenninu', 'Poonkaavil Paadi', 'Mangalam Padunna' and 'Thumbikale' for the film Pathaamudayam, 'Neeyen Kinaavo' and 'Nee Nee Neeyente Jeevan' for the film Hello My Dear Wrong Number, 'Ethra Pookkaalam' and  'Poomukhavaathilil' for the film Raakuyilin Raagasadassil, Kiliye Kiliye and Onnaanaam Kunnil for the film Dheem Tharikidathom and four other songs, including Gurucharanam, for the film Guru, besides many other hit songs for many famous Malayalam movies.

He was also a recipient of Kerala Sahitya Academy award, Janmashtami puraskaram and Vennikkulam Smaraka Award.  He was born on May 3, 1948, in Kumarapuram village in the present-day Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu, as the son of Shadananan Thampi and Parvathi Amma. After quitting the AIR job in 1995, Ramesan Nair became active in Thapasya, the cultural wing of RSS.

He was the incumbent president of Thapasya. The cremation will be held at Santhikavadam at Pachalam here at 11am on Saturday adhering to Covid protocol. Ramesan Nair was residing at Puthukkalavattam, Elamakkara. He is survived by wife P Rema and son Manu Ramesan who is a music composer in the Malayalam film industry. His daughter-in-law Uma too passed away this year.


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