Beeyar Prasad – Popular Malayalam lyricist and poet who wrote ‘Kilichundan Mampazhame’ Song
Beeyar Prasad (1961 – 2023) was a popular Malayalam lyricist and poet. He started his film journey as a screenwriter in the 1990s, though was not regular in film industry for next few years. Prasad has written many librettos for the Kathakali dance, wrote more than 40 plays and anchored a few TV shows also. He penned lyrics for several Malayalam films songs which include ‘Onnamkili ponnankili’, ‘Keranirakaladum oru haritha charutheeram’, ‘Mazhathullikal pozjanjeedumee’ etc.
As a lyricist he is popular for the songs of Mohanlal starrer, Kilichundan Mampazham which marked his debut in film industry in 2003. Pattanathil Sundaran, Ivar, Njan Salperu Ramankutty, Vettam, Jalolsavam, Vamanapuram Bus Route, Iruvattam Manavaatti, Sarkar Dada, Lanka, Jayam, Seethaa Kalyaanam, Kunjaliyan, Thalsamayam Oru Penkutti, Monaayi Angane Aanaayi, Thattumpurath Achuthan etc are some of the films for which he penned lyrics later.
He turned a screenwriter at the age of 22
His real name is B. Rajendraprasad. Prasad was born on 18 March 1961 in Kuttanad, Alappuzha. Professionally known as Beeyar Prasad or B. R. Prasad, he spent his last years in Changanassery, Kottayam. Mankombu is his native village, where he lived his childhood. His father Balakrishna Panikker sang Ashtapati in nearby temple. Prasad also used to sing Ashtapati those days and played the instrument Idaykka. He completed his schooling from Pulinkunnu St. Joseph Higher Secondary School, the school where his son studies now (at the time of B. R. Prasad’s decease).
A multi-talented person, he completed his graduation in Malayalam literature. In 1993, at the age of 22 he wrote the script of the movie, Johny, which won Kerala State Film Award for Best Children’s Film. The film was helmed by Sangeeth Sivan, who previously directed Mohanlal starrer Yodha. But he didn’t get into mainstream Malayalam cinema. In 2001, he played a brief role in Jayaram starrer Theerthadanam. At the age of 23, he also wrote an Aattakatha (For Kathakali) with the title, Theerthadanam.
He became familiar to Malayalis through the title track of Kilichundan Mampazham
“Onnamkilli Ponnankili” from Kilichundan Mampazham, the movie directed by Priyadarshan gave him the big break to Malayalam cinema. He penned all songs of the movie, and all songs became instant hits. “Kasavinte Thattamittu”, “Parayuka Nee Kadha”, “Onnanam Kunnin Mele” and “Vilakkukoluthi Varum” were other songs of the movie. He later penned lyrics for Priyadarshan’s Vettam, and also a few movies starring Mohanlal. Since then he has been regular in Malayalam movies and has given quite a few popular songs.
He was suffering from kidney related ailments last few years and had undergone a kidney transplant in 2019. He died from complications of a stroke on 4 January 2023, at the age of 61. He had a brain haemorrhage in November 2022 and his condition worsened since then. He is survived with his wife and two children – Elder daughter Ila and younger son Kavi. His wife Vidhu is a ward member of Mankombu Grama Panchayat at the time of his decease.
Beeyar Prasad – Some interesting and less-known facts
1. When he was 3, his mother used to take him to Malayalam Vidwan classes. It introduced him to Malayalam language, grammar and literature at a very young age.
2. His play ‘Shadkala Govindamarar’ won the top award at the Thiruvananthapuram Drama Competition.
3. A school junior helped him for kidney transplant by giving his own kidney, but on one condition that his name should be kept secret.
4. He has served as a TV anchor for 15 years.
5. Chandrolsavam is his published novel. He was mostly associated with plays.
6. He wrote more than 200 songs belonging to films and albums.
7. His first Aattakatha and his first film screen appearance have the same title, Theerthadanam.
8. 2018 Kerala floods took away many of his written manual works and written diary, and it deeply affected him.
9. In his wife Vidhu Prasad’s words, Prasad was a romantic person. He used to tell about his previous love stories to his wife. Some pains deeply reflected in his writings too.
10. They had a ‘Kilichundan’ mango tree in their farm house. It inspired him to write his debut film song, the song through which he is still known to Malayalis. It’s an irony, the same tree was cut down for his cremation, ending the ‘mango season’ of their life – Vidhu signs off.