In my frenzied attempt to finish watching all the Netflix & other DVD rentals before the weekend, I missed out on some tragic news from Friday.
While still in high school, during one of my many sleepovers at my sister’s place, I came across yet another Malayalam audio tape with a photo of Yesudas on the cover and music by someone called Ravindran. I asked my Yesudas-crazy bro-in-law if it was just a “Hits of” collection, upon which he launched into this interesting story about an independent album that had become a huge hit in Kerala. About how Ravindran was this talented composer who had been looking for a break, and that Yesudas had signed him to cut an album for Tharangini Records. Together they had scoured the famous Yesudas voice bank and found the perfect female voice to accompany him. A singer called K.S.Chitra. And out of this alliance was born, Vasantha Geethangal, Ravindran’s debut album, and a remarkable effort by any standards. Two songs stand out fresh in memory. The outstanding Maamaankam sung by Yesudas, and his lovely duet with Chitra, Kaayal Kanni Olangal. Ravindran of course, went to bigger & better things after that, with albums like His Highness Abdullah & Bharatham bearing testimony to his abilities as a composer.
And now, he is dead!
Somehow for me, the passing away of a true musician always makes Death seem a tad more cruel. I know there is no good way to rationalize the feeling, yet I can’t help feeling depressed about it.
MS aka Murali Venkatramam, has paid tribute to Ravindran on his blog, and the following are some links where you could sample some of the songs mentioned in that write-up.