Veteran Malayalam lyricist and poet B Sivasankaran Nair, popularly known as Bichu Thirumala, passed away on Friday, November 26, in Thiruvananthapuram. He was 80. Thirumala was admitted to the hospital with breathing problems and had suffered a heart attack as well. He had been on ventilator support after his condition worsened, and passed away early on Friday, around 3.15 am. He is survived by his wife Prasanna and son Suman Bichu, who is also a music director.
Thirumala, who has penned lyrics for over 5,000 songs, began his career with the 1972 Malayalam movie Bhaja Govindam. Born in 1942, Thirumala grew to become one of the most celebrated and successful lyricists in the Malayalam film industry, and has won the Kerala State Film Awards twice. In 1981, he won the Kerala State Film Award for the films Thrishna and Thenum Vayabum and in 1991 for his lyrics in the movie Kadinjool Kalyanam. He has worked with many notable names from the Malayalam film industry, and has also collaborated with the likes of AR Rahman, Ilaiyaraaja, G Devarajan, V Dakshinamurthy, MS Baburaj, K Raghavan, Ouseppachan, and more, reports Onmanorama. Mathrubhumi reports that he often teamed up with fellow poet ONV Kurup, and was instrumental in bringing finesse and depth to Malayalam film songs.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has expressed his condolences over Bichu Thirumalaâ€™s death. The Chief Minister recalled that the poet and lyricist had a major role in popularising film songs amongst the public. â€śHe was close to the listener's heart, as he stood out in his lyrics and music. Many notable songs in Malayalam were written by him,â€ť Chief Minister Pinarayi said.