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A Less-Sung Legend


In the walks of life, we get to see and hear about so many achievers from different fields. Some, we recognize immediately because they are so prominent – for their work or otherwise!?! Some are constantly on your face (sneeze…hot headlines) while some are on & off!

Amidst this mixed and vast ocean of talents, there are those ‘silent achievers’ – I would compare them to our nature, which keeps doing its job irrespective of whether we recognize and/or respect her! Similarly, these people are happy and contended with their work, and move on in search of further challenges and milestones in their life; irrespective of any or no recognition.

Indeed it was my pleasure to meet one such ‘silent achievers' recently. Standing in the Queue, ordering food from Saravana Bhavan outlet @ Chennai Central Station, my friend was elated to see him. Clad in a clean white dhoti & kurta and a cloth bag, he as one amongst us, stood patiently, took the food and moved to an adjacent table to have his dinner. In that crowd, only my friend and another gentleman seemed to recognize this person! He was none other than ‘Kaithapram Damodaran Namboothiri’ – famous lyricist, music director, singer, actor in the Malayalam industry –

Some of his songs are my favorite numbers in Malayalam, rather very few that I can hum:) to meet such a person is really an honor! But what bowled us both down was his most humble, down-to-earth behavior. He was all smiles, polite and cheerful when we met him to say a ‘hi’ and talk a few words. Absolutely no air, whatsoever!  Finished his dinner and mingled into the crowd to board the train.

Now one could debate that had it been Kerala more would have recognized him. Yes, could be so! Well, he could also be equally popular as AR Rehman, Illayaraja, SRK, Big B, Super Star – aren’t they known globally? But, the reality is that comparatively he is less known. Does this take away anything from his accomplishment? No, for me he is still a LESS-SUNG LEGEND!

As a lyricist, some of his well known works are: Kireedam, His Highness Abhdullah, Bharatam, Kamaladalam, Swapnakoodu etc etc. As a music director, some are: Kaliyattam, Agni Sakshi, Theerthadanam etc etc. Do you recognize him yet? If not, am sure now you will – know the songs ‘Aaromale’ from Vinnaithandi Varuvaya and ‘Lajjavathiye’. Its his work! At least the Tamil Fans would surely know him now.

Yup, we got to meet one of the few humility-personified people, a legend of our times. Hats off sire!

-- He has to his credits Kerala State Film Award for best lyricist and music director (thrice) and an Asianet Film Award for best lyricist. You can know more about him @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaithapram_Damodaran_Namboothiri


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