Vetera Malayalam music composer M K Arjunan, who gave A R Rahman his first break in films, passed away in Kochi on Monday. The Oscar-Grammy winner has expressed condolences over his mentor’s death.
Rahman, who shared a picture of a young himself with Arjunan, said, “An act of kindness lasts a lifetime. I will never forget the love & encouragement you gave me during my childhood.”
The ace music composer added: “Your innumerable melodic songs are a testament for your everlasting legacy. May you rest in peace MK Arjunan Master…My condolences to the family, friends & admirers.”
Arjunan is credited with giving Rahman the first break when he played keyboard for the 1981 film ‘Adimachangala’. Arjunan was an award winning music composer. Losing his father (Kochukunju) at a young age, the burden of looking after a big family fell on his mother (Parvathi). Unable to provide for all her children she sent Arjunan and his brother, Prabhakaran, to Jeevakarunyananda Ashram at Palani.
It was here that Arjunan got his first lessons in music. Every evening, after school, Arjunan would join the other children in singing bhajans. Noticing something different in the young boy, the head of the ashram decided to give him music lessons. For the next few years Arjunan began learning music under Kumarayya Pillai. He later learnt music under K N Vijayarajan Master.
During a career spanning 50 years in film field, ‘Arjunan Master’ has scored music for more than 500 songs in over 218 Malayalam movies.