A star lost in the abyss

Monday, Sep 21, 2015,21:33 IST By Meera Radhakrishnan A A A

Kochi | Though short her life and the loss of that golden voice into the abyss a bitter fact, a few reverberant tunes that lure many folks are to hold her name for long in the humming. The memories of playback singer Radhika Tilak evoke a Saga of chanting, lilting music where melody haunts. Gifted with a voice described by discerning music lovers as “unbelievably rich”, “lush”, “opulent” and a singing quality filled with depth and warmth. Hailing from a family of gifted musicians had shaped the formative years of this talented singer.
Radhika Tilak hails from Sreekandath family, Ernakulam. She is the eldest of the two children born to Tilak and Girija Devi. She is the grand daughter of Parur T.K. Narayana Pillai, the first Chief Minister of the erstwhile Travancore-Cochin State after Independence. Well known singer Sujata Mohan is her first cousin. She is related to well known singers P. Jayachandran, G. Venugopal etc.
Radhika Tilak is not a bit behind when it comes to popularizing Malayalam light music to undeniable heights. Her inherent musical blessing remained treasures in her melodious life. However, she never grew to her full potential as a playback singer and always stayed in the shadows of KS Chitra and Sujata who ruled the Malayalam film space for decades.
Radhika Thilak has sung nearly 70 songs for Malayalam films. Some of her noted songs in Malayalam films are Arunakirana deepam, and Deva sangeetham (Guru), Maya manchalil (Ottayal Pattalam), Kaithapoo manam (Sneham), Thiruvathira thira nokkiya (Kanmadam), Ente ulludukkum kotti, and Ninte kannil (Deepasthambham Mahascharyam), Manassil Midhuna Mazha (Nandanam 2002 ), ‘Manjakiliyude Moolipattunde’ (Kanmadam – 1998) and ‘Kaithapoo Manamenthe’ (Sneham – 1998).
Apart from film songs, Radhika Thilak has also sung several devotional songs. She was also a noted TV anchor.
She died on Sunday, 20th September, night after battling with cancer for over a year at a private hospital in Kochi, Kerala. The sudden demise came after her condition worsened due to infection. A natural singer who made her way to tinsel town through hard work and perseverance, Radhika gave her voice to nearly 55 films in an active career spanning over a decade and more.
She is survived by husband Suresh and daughter Devika.

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