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Tribute to MK Arjunan Master


Music composer M.K.Arjunan Master is no more.The news broke in the wee hours of April 6,2020.

He was suffering from age realted illness. Arjunan Master breathed his last at his Kochi residence.

His contribution to Malayalam film industry is unique.

His songs have unique personality.His team-up with lyricist Sreekumaran Thampi created evergreen hits in Malayalm.His top creations are:

Kasthhorimanakkunnallo Katte, Nin Maniyarayile,Mallikapoovin Madhuragandham,Kuyilinte Maninadam Kettu,Palaruvikkarayil.Pournami Chandrika,Sindoorm Thudikkunna Thirunettiyil,Urangan Kidannal Omane Nee,,,the list of evergreen  malayalam songs continues.


In a career spanning over five decades,  Arjunan master composed more than 600 songs, some of which are popular in reality shows even today.

Arjunan Master found out the talent in AR Rahman while the latter was a young boy.
AR Rahman tweeted :

Arjunan was born at Chirattapalam in Fort Kochi as the youngest of 14 children born to Kochukunju and Paru, among whom only four survived childhood. Losing his father at a young age, the burden of looking after a big family fell on his mother (Parvathi). Unable to provide for all her children she sent Arjunan and his brother, Prabhakaran, to Jeevakarunyananda Ashram at Palani. It was here that Arjunan got his first lessons in music.

Every evening, after school, Arjunan would join the other children in singing bhajans. Noticing something different in the young boy, the head of the ashram decided to give him music lessons. For the next few years Arjunan began learning music under Kumarayya Pillai. He later learnt music under K.N Vijayarajan Master.

During his youth, composing music was another turn in Arjunan’s life. After attempts in small-time amateur plays, music composing grew into a serious hobby. Arjunan was soon sought after by almost every amateur troupe. He then graduated to the professional stage and was soon associated with top names like Changanassery Geedha, People’s Theatre, Kalidasa Kalakendram, Desabhimani Theatres, Alleppey Theatres and KPAC. Arjunan Master went on to compose around 800 songs for 300 plays. This association grew into an intimate bond, which he maintained until his death.

The next step was cinema. At a time when stalwarts like K. Raghavan, G. Devarajan and M. S. Baburaj ruled the roost, Arjunan managed to break into the scene and establish an identity of his own. “Karuthapurnami’ was his debut movie as a composer which was released in 1968. His association with the leading lyricist Sreekumaran Thampi in almost 50 films was one of the most prolific composer-lyricist partnerships in Malayalam film industry.

During a career spanning 50 years in film field, Arjunan Master has scored music for more than 500 songs in over 218 Malayalam films.

He is also credited with giving A. R. Rahman his first musical break by giving him a chance to play keyboards in a film. He died on 6 April, 2020, at Kochi, Kerala.

His last film was Vellaram Kunnile Vellimeenukal. This film song was written by Rajeev Alunkal.His last music composition was on 2019 December for Sreek Music’s three love songs written by Lyricist Sreekanth M Girinath He died at his home at 3:30 AM IST on 6 April 2020, aged 84, and was cremated with full state honours at Palluruthy crematorium on the same day. Due to COVID-19, his funeral was conducted under strict protocols. He is survived by his wife Bharathi and five children – three daughters and two sons.


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