Legendary Mollywood musician MK Arjunan, popularly known as Arjunan Master passed away on Monday, April 6. The unexpected demise happened at 3.30 am at his residence in Palluruthi, Cochin. He was aged 84.
A career dedicated to music
In a career that spanned over five decades, Arjunan Master composed more than 1,000 songs in around 200 movies. The music maestro entered the world of arts by composing music for theater plays, and he finally ventured into cinema in 1968 through a movie titled Karutha Pournami.
As the songs of this movie became chartbusters, Arjunan Master became one of the most demanded composers in the Malayalam film industry. During this time, he started his association with lyricist Sreekumaran Thampi, and the duo worked together in more than 50 movies.
During his career, he has worked with several stalwarts that include KJ Yesudas, G Devarajan, and Sujatha. Interestingly, it was MK Arjunan who initially identified the talent in AR Rahman, and he gave the first breakthrough to Mozart of Madras by giving him a chance to play keyboard in one of his movies.
By the 1990s, MK Arjunan took a small break from the music field, and he became very choosy while selecting movies. His songs for the movie 'Naayika' released in 2011 became chartbusters, and through this movie, he loudly proclaimed that he is an inevitable person the industry cannot ignore.
A recognition that came late
Even though MK Arjunan has composed several melodious tracks in his career, he won the State Award for best musician only in 2017 for his works in the movie 'Bhayanakam' directed by national award-winning filmmaker Jayaraj. This film that belongs to Jayaraj's Navarasa series received critical acclaim from various film festivals, and everybody lauded MK Arjunan for composing such soulful scores for this movie.
Some of his hit numbers include 'Kasthuri Manakkunnallo', 'Paadatha Veenayum Paadum', 'Pournami Chandrika', and 'Vaalkannezhuthi.'