Veteran Malayalam playback singer Gayathri Srikrishnan passed away in Delhi on Sunday. She was 75.
She died at Narinder Mohan Hospital after a brief and sudden onset of fever, followed by cardiac arrest. She is survived by her son GS Rajan, who is a flautist and noted music composer in Malayalam cinema as well as daughter-in-law Anjana Rajan, a Bharatanatyam dancer and theatre practitioner, and her daughter Sujatha Das.
Gayathri Srikrishnan was one of the earliest female playback singers in the Malayalam film industry. GS Rajan wrote about her life and work in a Facebook post yesterday.
She was known in her early career as KB Gayathri, and was a popular singer and actor right from her student days. Her first solo playback song was ‘Thekunnu Nammaloru’ for her debut film Rarichan Enna Paurasolo in 1956. However, it was the evergreen song ‘Naazhiyooru paalu kondu naadake kalyanam’, which she sang with Shantha P Nair for the same film, which brought her popularity. It remains a favourite of listeners years after release.
Gayathri was born in Palluruthy in Kochi in 1934. She graduated from St Theresa’s College, and later joined All India Radio as an announcer. Here, she was known for hosting the children’s show ‘Balalokam’. She also sang and composed music for shows, besides scripting a number of radio plays.
In her long stint as an actor-singer, she has worked with the famous Malayalam stage actor Tikkurussi, and also collaborated with the iconic singer Mohammad Rafi when he visited Kerala.
In 1958, she married flautist Guruvayoor Srikrishnan, a veteran Carnatic musician and retired station director of All India Radio. Many of her family members are artists.
In January this year, she moved in with her grandson Shyam Rajan in Delhi, who was with her till the end.
Image Courtesy: GS Rajan on Facebook