A Blog on Cinema

Remembering Ravindran – I


Ravidran, Mohanlal, Pradip

(Written by our new guest contributor Pradip Somasundaran. Pradip is the winner of the Lata Mangeshkar award on Meri Awaz Suno for the best Male singer. He now sings for movies and albums and was closely associated with the music director Ravindran.

It has been a year since Ravindran left us and on this occasion, Pradip recollects his memories of our favourite music director. This is a two part article, the second part of which will be published tomorrow).

I was literally shocked when I first heard the news of his demise which was in the form of an SMS from one of my close friends. I instantly tuned on to one of the news channels which confirmed my fears. Ravindran or “Ravi Etan” as I used to call him had left this world to another world of his own which would perhaps be filled with more intricate and heavenly music which he had endearingly wound over all of us for more than 30 odd years.

My mind wandered immediately to the first occasion when I had met him in 1991. Mala Aravindan had taken me to meet him in Madras. I still remember that day at Brown Stone Apartments. He was in one of his composing sessions for Chambakkulam Thachan. Since he had a gigantic figure, I somehow had an impression that he who had composed songs like Pramadavanam would be as difficult to please as his music.

When he asked me to sing, I sang Raga Kalyani and was trembling like a quill. Sensing my discomfiture, he asked me to stop and relax and then tried to take the fear out of me.He made me feel at ease and then asked me to sing again. Then he asked me to sing some songs, record it on a cassette and give it to him when next visited Kerala. He did not utter a word about my singing and asked me to wait outside the room

Tense moments followed. He was locked in conversation with Mr. Aravindan. After a while Mr. Aravindan came out and then as we went back to Woodlands Hotel where we were staying. He told me, “Ravindran was impressed with you. He told me that you hold a good future”. My happiness knew no bounds. I had been able to impress none other than Ravindran, whose songs, singers other than the great Yesudas himself were afraid to sing.

After coming back to Kerala I immediately did as was told. The cassette reached Ravindran through Mr. Aravindan and then I was told over phone “Pradip I will call you as soon as an opportunity arises”. I was working as a lecturer in Coimbatore that time and I badly wanted to sing in films and be there in Madras in the thick of things. I also wanted to see all the big personalities like Yesudas and S.P Balasubramaniyam.

My efforts bore fruit when I finally managed to get a job in Madras. I stayed in Thiruvanmiyur initially. After constant phone calls, one day he finally said, “Pradip come to AVM-G Recording Theatre, at 9.30 A.M on Tuesday. Please bear in mind that you will be singing track for a song which would be eventually sung by Yesudas & Chitra”. The song was Samayam Manoharam for the film Ezhuthachan.

After Sangeetha and I, another aspiring singer sang the duet in a single take, all the instrument players came to congratulate us. I could not believe my eyes. Here was I, singing for the first time in my life for a film in one of the biggest studios in Madras. Ravindran came out of the recording console room and then announced, “Both of you sang well. We now want you both to sing the song again and correct the voice track little by little”. This time my confidence got a boost and I did better.

After the recording he came out with the producer and announced ”We are going to keep your voices. Now this song will come out with your voices.” We were thrilled. Soon he called the Nana Film Magazine office and a photographer was arranged and the news was covered. We became playback singers from that moment.

Ravindran asked me to shift my stay to a place near the Recording Studios at Saligramam. He told, “Pradip, only Yesudas can afford to be at a far away place from the studios as people would wait even for months for taking his voice. You cannot afford to be so far”. Thiruvanmiyur was the place where Yesudas also used to stay those days. It was one of the places in Madras where fresh water was available in plenty and was away from the busy city.

Ravindran helped me find a rented house just opposite to his house where I stayed till I was at Madras. I got to know him more. Many a times he would correct me when I was doing sadhakam and give valuable advice. He was very fond of pets and had a big Alsatian dog which he loved very much.

(Will continue)


  1. Oh yeah ravindran is such a big loss to malayalam film industry.All the great yesudas songs are composed by ravindran.And sadly theres no one to carry the legacy forward in todays music directors maybe M.G.Radhakrishnan can come a bit closer to him..

  2. Suraj
    So very true.

  3. I love Raveendran.. i mean his Maamaangam was awesome.. that was one of the first songs i heard of his… There really isn’t anyone other there that can mix classical with modern music better then him.

  4. Pingback: varnachitram » Blog Archive » Remembering Ravindran - II

  5. HH Abdulla was my favourite of Raveendran maash’s compositions. Pramadavanam especially was the best of the lot.

    Here’s a wikipedia writeup on the great composer

  6. Everyone believe that Ravindran’s hit songs are in H H Abdulla,Aramthampuran etc.As per me HIS songs in the films like ‘Thalam thettiya thaarattu’,’Tharattu’,’Ente nandinikkutty’,’BElt mathayi’,’Ithirippoove chuvannapoove’,’Omanikkan ormavaykan’,ETC,ETC are very much good than new songs.Please listen those and I know all the songs of Ravwwndran my favourite.

  7. Pramadavanam veendum, thenum vayampum, ezhu swarangalum, Sree lathikakal, harimuraleeravam, ottakambi nadam….etc are all time hit and easy to listen but difficult to sing.
    Adarsh K R

  8. I have been sad like a loss of my family memeber when two people passed way from film industry – One was P Patmarajan & other was Ravindran mash probably god want to make a movie / compose some music for him!!, I wish they both were my elder brothers!!!,

  9. The vaccuum created by the untimely demise of Ravindran does not seem to be filled very soon. His talent to mix up the classical notes with new tunes and melodies is peerless. A Song teamed by Yesudas & Ravindran is worth listening !!!

  10. We are happy to live as a contemperory of Raveendran.

    I remember the ever touching songs, kudajadhriyil, Deepam kayyil sandya deepam, Uthradapoonilave vaa, Mudipookkal, Maamankam etc.etc. One of the great man lived in Kerala.

  11. i just loved his music. i wanted to meet him someday just to be near the man who composed nothing short of heavenly music. why did he have to leave so early…his music was so immensely raga bound but yet so soothing for the common man to hear…! ! ! he can create 10 songs in the raga Jog and all 10 would sound different ! ! !

  12. The master composer though has left us physically, has conserved his essence unbroken in the opus that he had composed. I have read almost every articles on the great musician in the web-sites as well in books. But one incident, which I had come across, would like to share with you, which is a very painful and rather shameful as far as new Malayalam music generation is concerned.

    This incident took birth in a Television channel, Asianet, ever hit program called “Nammal Tammil” a couple of years ago, after the legendary music director’s sad demise. As the anchor, Mr. Sreekhandan Nair, through his extra-ordinary exclusive ways of asking questions, the program has today become one of the greatest of ever public shows, had witnessed. The concerned program has the new music directors, as participants(I don’t want to put anyone’s name).

    Question was “Why Gange…. From “Vadakkumnaathan” becomes super hit, even the before the movie release……..????”

    Answered by one of the music director from the new generation…………”It is because, the music director is not with us today…..” This is one of the cruel, merciless offences through words I had never come across till my 32 years of life. ….

    Still whenever I listen any of his songs, unknowingly tears knocks the door of my eyes, to make me realize the fact that “…..our….raveendran master is no more with us…….oh…god…!!! why he is so dear to you…… than us

  13. I do not have words how to expalin on the composition of ravivndran masters most beautiful melodies.Tahrake nin mizhi…,to harimuraleeravam…If any body have the whole list of his music please send to me.I have small collection.My ID

  14. I have a doubt; the song Tharake mizhiyithalil——- has strong resemblance to raveendran’s another song “Gopike Hridayamoru” from nandanam;atleast in the beginning.

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