M.K.Arjunan is a well-known Malayalam music composer. He is basically from Kerala, India. He was born in the year 1950. His father Kochukunju passed away when M.K.Arjunan was young. So his mother Parvathi was not able to look after the big family and had to send him and his brother to Jeevakarunyananda Ashram at Palani. M.K.Arjunan started his music career in this ashram. During the youth, composing music was another turn in his life. Noticing the talent of his in music the head of the ashram decided to give him music classes himself. Kumarayya Pillai was his first music teacher and continued teaching him for a long time. His passion towards music also grew up as he grew up. M.K.Arjunan was famous for top names like Changanassery Geetha, people’s theater, Kalidasa Kalakendram, desabhinmani theaters, Alleppey theaters and KPAC.

The movie ‘Manathi Muttathu’ in the year 1968 was his debut film as a music director which had P.Bhaskaran as the lyricist and was sung by Yesudas. After that, he got another chance in the movie named “Rest House” directed by Sasikumar, with Sreekumaran Thampi as the lyricist. His famous “Padatha veenayum padum” became an evergreen song. After some time, it was a battle between Vayalar-Devarajan and Sreekumaran Thampi-Arjunan teams. They fought for the honor. The winner was the Malayalam music. That era was known as the good music of Malayalam music field. He has also composed for movie “Ninmaniyarayile” and “Neelanishidhini” which are the best songs in the film “C.I.D. Nazir” by P.Venu.

He made different types of songs like mysterious ‘velichamevide,’ lullaby ‘pookale pole’ romantic ‘sarovaram poochoodi,’ semi-classical ‘ayiram ajantha,’ the pleasant ‘nilavilakkin,’ auspicious ‘thiruvonappulariyil,’ playful ‘kannezhuthipottuthottu’ etc. His songs continued his presence from 1980 onwards. He still had his charm as in 1986 he composed ‘chandrakikiranathi’ and ‘chellacheru veedutharam.’ In 1988 ‘kananazhakulla manikyakuyile’ in ‘ Oozham’ was his last well-received song. Melody was the base of all his songs. There were no complaints about his composition. He was the master in composing sad songs, but still, it was purely entertaining. He composed songs for all the singers, but Yesudas sang most of his songs. 70-75 was his time. Though his style was pure traditional, he opened the door of changes for others in the music world. He had 50 years career span in the film industry, he has composed more than 500 songs in Malayalam films. A chance was given to A. R. Rahman by him to play keyboards in a film which was him musical break.



Jerry Amaldev
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