Friday, February 12, 2010

Twin loss for Malayalam Films

Malayalam film industry recently suffered two shocking losses with in a span of one week. Actor, Writer and Director Cochin Haneefa passed away on 2 nd February 2010 and Lyrics and Script Writer Gireesh Puthenchery snatched away on 10 th February 2010. Both of them as script writers too, had made much contibution to Malayalam films, which faces a shortage of good scripts.

Cochin Haneefa
I had known Cochin Haneefa since his early days when he was seeking his fortune knocking at the doors of film directors for a chance to act in film roles. To be exact during the filming of my second film RAGGING directed by N.N.Pisharody at Alwaye in 1972-73 period Haneefa used to come to the set seeking a role in the film. He used perform his masterpiece imitation of Sivaji Ganesan to impress people, Since already all the major and minor roles had been allotted he could not be accomodated in that film.

Later on I had witnenessed his struggles at Madras to get roles and his rise as a scriptwriter and Actor. He was hard working sincere and a simpleton, qualities which made him liked by all those who came in touch with him. We had not worked much together in films, but I remember working with Vinayan's AKASHAGANGA in which he had given a supurb comic performance.

Now that he had left us all of a sudden, let us pray for his family consisting of his wife and very young twin daughters,

Gireesh Puthenchery

Twenty years back, in 1990 a young man came to see me at Hotel Maharani, Calicut during the shooting of Vijayan Karot's film BRAHMA RAKSHASS. I invited him into my rooom and offered him a cup of tea and read some of his writings. I learnt that he was a friend of Vijayan Karot and had written the script of the film BRAHMA RAKSHASS. I do not remember whether he had also written the lyrics. His name was Gireesh. I went through the script and told him my opinion about it and told a few nice words on his writing.Years later he had become a popular lyrics writer and whenever we met he used to narrate that incident and hold my hands with due respect for the kindness I had shown to a novice like him.

He had written many hit songs for my films, notable amongst them are the songs from KANMADHAM, the music of which was by Raveendran. I used to meet Gireesh often during functions and during those meetings he told me of his desire to direct a film and had insisted that I must do the Cinematography for him. Unfortunately that could not materialize as he had been invited by the Powers above to write lyrics for their Divine Music. RAMAN POLICE, his unfullfilled film project had become an orphan. I really miss you Gireesh for you have left a great void in our hearts. I pray for you and your family !

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