Two-time national award-winning lyricist Na. Muthukumar succumbed to jaundice in Chennai on Sunday. He was 41 and is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.
He first won the award for the song Aananda Yazhai Meetukiral in the filmThangameenkal and the second award was for the song Azhage Azhagu inSaivam.
“In my opinion he had the calibre to achieve great heights in Tamil literature. But film industry reduced the space for his creativity,” said director N. Alagamperumal. Na. Muthukumar wrote most of the songs for his film Dum Dum Dum and all of them were hits.
“He is a friend and we would have a chat over phone once a week. I love his lines Un Perai Sonnale Ul Naaku Thithikkume, Nee Yenkey Nee Yenkey and Desingu Raja Desingu Raja,” said Mr. Alagamperumal.
Later, he wrote for films of Selvaragahavan and the song Niniathu Ninaithu Parthen in 7G Rainbow Colony became one of the evergreen film songs. His Anil Aadum Mundril, a poetic narration published in Tamil weekly Ananda Vikatan, proved his grip with the language and close observation of Tamil life.
“It was writer Sujatha who first introduced his poem Thoor in a meeting organised by Kanaiazhimagazine. He introduced images of modern poetry in films songs, which is achieved by very few writers. He excelled both as a lyricist and a poet and he achieved great heights in a short span of life in a highly competitive world,” said poet Manushyaputhiran.
He further explained that at a time when music directors dominated the film world, Muthukumar secured a space for poetry and meaningful lines and also an identify for himself.
Muthukumar entered the film world with a dream of becoming a director and worked as an associate for Balumahendra. “But his knowledge in Tamil language and literature led him to the area of song-writing and he first wrote for director Seeman’s film Veeranadai,” said writer Suka, who also worked with Balumahendra.
A native of Kancheepuram, Muthukumar is also a distant relative of DMK founder C.N. Annadurai, “He studied in Pachaiappa’s college and was shaped by his father Nagarajan who was a voracious reader and had a great collection of books,” said lyricist Palaini Bharathi.
DMK leader M. Karunanidhi condoled his death, saying he was shocked by the sudden demise of the lyricist.