It is so rare, no, pretty much impossible, to love all the creations of a musician. There is an exception. The great MS Baburaj. I would like to dedicate this to his memory.
A Bengali musician, Jan Mohammed, originally came to sing qawwalis at a wedding in Kozhikkode. He stayed, and married a lady named Fathima. A son was born to them on the 9th of March, 1921. They named him Mohammed Sabir. Who knew that that little boy born into an impoverished family would turn out to be the great Baburaj, beloved Musician of malayalees, who could create enchanting music through his magic fingertips. The first Malayalam movie for which he composed music was “Minnaaminungu” (The Firefly) in 1957. Very few recordings exist of this talented artist’s voice, in spite of the fact that he has sung before music lovers on thousands of stages. Here is a rare gem in Baburaj’s own voice from the movie Subaida, with lyrics by P Bhaskaran:
With P Bhaskaran.
Although he composed music in Malayalam movies with many lyricists, when the creative genius of MS Baburaj and P Bhaskaran came together it almost always magic. For example the song ” Aadyathe Kanmani” from Bhaagyajaathakam., probably the first song sung by Yesudas, with P Leela, under Baburaj. The great Sathyan and young beauty Sheela appears in the picturisation. Who cares about the boring studio setting when you can listen to Mum and Dad planning their soon-to-be small additions to their family. P Bhaskaran wrote most lyrics for Baburaj.
Adyathey kanmani from Bhagyajaathakam.
Speaking of “Thaamasamenthe Varuvaan” which is perhaps his most popular classic, sung by Yesudas for the movie “Bhaargavee Nilayam” and penned by P Bhaskaran, Yesudas has mentioned that when he and the great Noushad met, Noushad enquired of Yesudas about this song and about its Music Director with much interest.
To Naushad, it was a song which he had listened with great delight many many years ago and had captivated him. Yesudas was amazed when he heard this. Almost all songs from that movie are classic hits to this day.
Thamasamenthe Varuvan from Bhargavi Nilayam, sung by KJ Yesudas.
Other memorable songs from the prolific MS Baburaj – P Bhaskaran team include “Innente Karalile” (P Leela) from Kuttukkuppaayam, “Thelinju Premayamuna Veendum” (Yesudas) from Manaswini and “Chudukanneeraalen” (Udayabhanu) from the eternal love story Laila Majnu.
Innente Karalile from Kuttikkuppaayam, sung by P Leela.
Although Vayalar penned only half as much lyrics as P Bhaskaran did for Baburaj, most of them were hits. Interestingly, this philosophical song was sung on screen by the lyricist himself – Vayalar Rama Varma. Ambika and TK Balachandran also appears in the clip. “Aadiyil Vachanamundaayi” – this is a direct quote from John 1:1 in the Bible – “In the beginning was the Word …”. The song is about difficulties and deceptions women face in life. MS Baburaj – Vayalar team created classic melodies like the dreamy “Pathinaaru Vayassu Kazhinjaal” (P Susheela) from Chettathi and the t
ragic “Kanaka Pratheeksha Than” (P Susheela) from Midumidukki.( Lyrics by Sreekumaran Thampi – Thank you Sajith )
Baburaj could create magic no matter what the subject matter was – whether it be tragic like Iruttinte Aathmaavu, or light hearted comedies like Kandam Bacha Coat. Yesudas and S Janaki sung the most songs for Baburaj. here are a few of their immortal collaborations.
Thaliritta Kinaakkal from Moodupadam , by S Janaki
Pottithakarnna Kinaavu Kondoru from Bhargavi Nilayam, sung by S Janaki
En Praana Naayakane from Pareeksha, sung by S Janaki
Kaalindi Thadathile Raadha from Bhadradeepam, sung by S Janaki
The enchanting MS Baburaj – S Janaki combination remains one of the best collaborations in her career as a Singer, in my opinion.Most songs from movies for which Baburaj was the MD are eternal favourites – Umma, Mudiyanaaya Puthran, Bhaagyajaathakam, Laila Majnu, Bhaargavee Nilayam, Kuttikkuppaayam, Thacholi Othenan, Pareeksha, Manaswini, Anaarkkali, Koottukaar, Anweshichu, Kandethiyilla, Collector Malathi, Karthika, Laura Nee Evide – the list of hits continue. There are simply too many, it is impossible to mention them all.
Baburaj passed away on October 7, 1978. As the lyricist says in one of the last ever songs he composed for Yaagaashwam (1978), “Velicham Vilakkanachu, Raathriye Vennilaavum Kaivedinju” – Light has put out the lamp, and even moonlight has forsaken the night.