Eranholi Moosa: ‘Uniquely melodious rendition with a voice loved by all sections of people’

Mappilappattu singer and Kerala Folklore Akademi vice chairman Eranholi Moosa died at his residence at Gopalpeta in Thalassery on Monday. He was 79. Moosa had sung several hit Mappilappattu songs. He had undergone treatment in a hospital in Kozhikode for a month before he was shifted to his residence at Thalassery a few weeks ago. The death of Moosa has saddened the Mappilappattu lovers across the world. Endearingly called Moosakka, he was unquestionably the number one singer of modern Mappilappattu era.

Moosa reigned supreme in Mappilappattu with his unique voice and singing style. “It is his uniquely melodious rendition with a voice loved by all sections of people that won him the recognition as the most popular Mappilappattu singer,” said T.K. Hamza, former CPI(M) MP, who is an exponent of Mappilappattu. Moosa had more than 1,000 stage performances to his credit. No other Mappilappattu singer could outnumber Moosa in their Gulf programmes. He has performed on more than 300 stages in various Gulf countries. And little wonder Moosa remains the most loved Mappilappattu singer for Keralites living in the Arabian Gulf.

Mr. Hamza said Moosa’s loss was irreparable. “When Moosa sings his masterpiece Mihraaj Raavile Kaatte in the perfect pitch and feel, it gives me a rare enthralment that no other singer gives,” said Mr. Hamza. “For me, he was the best Mappilappattu singer.” Faizal Kanmanam, young Mappilappattu lyricist, composer and researcher, said Moosa had upheld the sanctity of the art form. “He never debased the Mappilappattu by choosing poor quality songs. That was one of the top qualities he maintained, apart from being a great singer,” said Mr. Kanmanam.

Moosa’s singing style was in discussion when the new-gen version of Manikya Malaraya Poovi picturised in Oru Adaar Love created a stir last year. Moosa’s rendition of Manikya Malaraya Poovi still remains the best loved version of that old song. Apart from Mihraj Raavile Kaatte, songs like Misrile Raajan, Thaif Nagari, Nafsu Nafsine, and Samanin Koorirul Kaatte remain some of his haunting melodies.

“He was a singer who could transform himself into the mood of the song he sings. He sang with his body and soul at the same time. That makes him distinct among Mappilappattu singers in Kerala,” said Mr. Kanmanam.Moosa was also known for his simplicity and the support he offered to young singers. “When we approached him with an award once, he politely told us that he had had enough of recognitions. We must encourage young singers with awards, he told us. He was a rare breed,” said Mr. Kanmanam.

In a condolence message, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Moosa had played a major role in popularising the Mappilappattu genre. Remembering the veteran singer as an artiste who had entered the world of music from humble backgrounds, Mr. Vijayan said Moosa had presented a culture that drew even the common man to the world of music.


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