Athisayaragam : Ravi Menon

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Rare is a day when a Malayali does not hear the voice of K.J. Yesudas. You hear him on the TV, on the radio, YouTube, Public Speakers, iPod’s, places of worship…wherever music is played. The entire field of Malayalam music is incomplete without the voice of this one man. There is even a saying that the god Ayyappa goes to sleep listening to Yesudas singing Harivarasanam ! (P.S : If you have not heard this rendition, then I would strongly recommend that you do. Even if you do not understand the lyrics, the feeling is unbelievably soothing !). Yesudas has a mark in the lives of every south Indian who has grown up from the 60’s to now. Through countless movie tracks and Carnatic classical renditions, he has walked the path to become a living legend !

It is my association with the Mathrubhoomi magazine that brought me to know Ravi Menon. There is a certain flair that he has in writing that makes me want to listen to the songs as I am reading about them. It would not be an exaggeration to say that I have started listening more to the Malayalam songs from the 1960’s – 1980’s after reading Ravi’s column in Mathrubhoomi . It is a kind of writing that evokes nostalgia for times gone by and an era of titans in the Malayalam music industry. This book is a collection of articles on the lives of people who have built the legend of Yesudas. Little known names like that of Raman Nambiyath – who was the producer of the first movie in which Das sang and also the music composers, recording artists and countless singers of little fame who were all on the path of this singer’s rise to glory are all chronicled here.

It is these little anecdotes that make this book interesting. Kattasseri Joseph Yesudas is an icon now and it is such gentle reminders that tell us how much toil, sweat and effort goes into building such an icon that the world can but behold !

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