Poovachal Khader, one of Malayalam cinema’s most prolific lyricists of all time, passed away in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. He was 72. He had been undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at the Govt. Medical College.
In a career that spanned over five decades, Khader wrote over a thousand songs in more than 350 films. He had to his credit some of the biggest ever hits in Malayalam film music.
He was one of the busiest lyricists in the 1970s and 80s, a period which saw him pen evergreen songs like Natha nee varum kalocha… (Chamaram), Shararanthal thiri thaazhhum… (Kayalum Kayarum), Aadya samaagama lajjayil… (Ulsavam), Sindoora sandhyaykku mounam… (Choola), Ente janman neeyeduthu… (Aattakkalasam), (Itha Oru Dhikkari), Etho janma kalpanayil… (Palangal), Naanamaaunno… (Poomaaname… (Nirakkoottu) and Anuraagini itha en… (Oru Kudakkeezhil).
Khader, who used to write poetry from his student days and went on to pen songs for stage and radio, garnered attention from his early days in cinema. His two songs in the 1973 film Kattu Vitchavan – Neeyente prarthana kettu… and Mazhavillinanjnathavaasam… – were hits. Then the songs of Ulsavam established as a lyricist to reckon with.
Not many know that Khader has written one of the most popular light songs in Malayalam (Jayadeva kaviyude…), which was set to lilting tune by the late composer M.G. Radhakrishnan.