|Born||21st April, 1924|
|Died||25th February, 2007|
|Career||Lyrics (1485 songs from 310 Movies), Direction (47), Production (10), Cast (8), Story (4), Screenplay (3), Dialogue (2), Singing (2 songs from 2 Movies), Music (1 songs from 1 Movies)|
|First Movie||Chandrika (1950)|
|Children||Master Ajith P Bhaskaran|
Pulloottupadathu Bhaskara Menon, better known as P. Bhaskaran, was a famous Malayalam poet and lyricist of Malayalam film songs. He penned more than 3000 songs for about 250 films. He also directed 44 Malayalam feature films and 3 documentaries, produced 6 feature films and acted in several movies. For his overall contributions to Malayalam cinema, he was awarded J.C.Daniel Lifetime Achievement Award by the Government of Kerala.
He was also a journalist and an All India Radio employee before becoming active in the film industry. He was well known for simple but beautiful use of the language in his songs and poems.
P. Bhaskaran was born on 21 April 1924 in Kodungallur, Thrissur district. His father, Nandyelathu Padmanabha Menon was a poet, lawyer, journalist and Indian freedom fighter. His mother was Pulloottupadathu Ammalu Amma. He is survived by his wife,Indira and four children. Having inherited his father’s talent, he started to write poems when he was studying in 7th standard. He fell in love with literature and communism when he was studying in Maharajas College, Eranakulam. He used to write poems in a local magazine. For taking part in the August Struggle, he was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment. After getting released, he went to Kozhikode and joined Deshabhimani Weekly.
P. Bhaskaran started to write songs for communist stage performers. His powerful songs gave headaches to the rulers and anti-communists and were banned in the (then) State of Travancore. His first collection of poems was released in the title Villali. During the Communist Rebellion in Punnapra-Vayalar, he wrote a song titled Vayalar Garjikkunnu (Vayalar Roars) under the pen name Ravi. The song, starting with the lines Uyarum Njan Nadake... rose to legendary stature in the days to come, during which the song was banned and he was expatriated from the (then) State of Travancore as per the orders of Dewan Sir C. P. Ramaswami Iyer. Then he went to Chennai (then Madras) to join the editorial board of the Jayakeralam daily. He used to write songs for Akashavani and that helped him to secure a job in Kozhikode Akashavani. In 1950’s, he got associated with the film industry. He quit his job in Akashavani and went to Chennai to start full-time film career. The lyrics for the famous theme song of malayalam channel Asianet, starting Shyama Sundara was also written by him.
Interestingly, P. Bhaskaran’s debut as a lyricist was for a Tamil film. He wrote the Malayalam lines for a multi-linguistic song in film Apurva Sahodarangal (1949). The first Malayalam film song for which he wrote lyrics was "Madhumadhuri..." for the film Chandrika (1950).
In 1954, Bhaskaran along with Ramu Kariat directed the film Neelakkuyil. The movie is regarded as ushering in social realism in Malayalam cinema. It got the President's Silver Medal, first ever national recognition for a Malayalam film. Bhaskaran's 'Neelakkuyil' lyrics are cherished to this day. He was also a renowned film director. His films Adyakiranangal (1964), Iruttinte Athmavu (1969), and Thurakkatha Vathil (1971) went on to win National Film Awards for various categories. He also acted in several films including Neelakkuyil. His most vibrant acting was arguably in the film Manoradham (1978), as a strict family head who has deep faith in astrology. He also directed several documentaries including the award winning Vallathol.
National Film Awards:
1954 - President's Silver Medal for Best Feature Film in Malayalam - Neelakuyil
1958 - Certificate of Merit for Best Feature Film in Malayalam - Nair Pidicha Pulival
Asianet Film Awards:
1999 – Best Lifetime Achievement Award
Kerala State Film Awards:
1970 – Best Lyricist – Sthree
1985 – Best Lyricist
1992 – Best Lyricist – Venkalam
1994 – Kerala State Film Award for Lifetime Achievement – J. C. Daniel Lifetime Achievement Award from the Government of Kerala
Guruvayoor Mahatmyam (1984)
History of Malayalam Cinema −2 parts (1989)
Vaiki Vanna Vazhi (1990) (T. V. Film)
Vaitharani (1991) (T.V. Serial)
Prepared by: Winston Morris