Popular singer Kalyani Menon no more

 Popular playback singer Kalyani Menon died on Monday at a private hospital here due to age related illness, sources close to her family said. She was 80. Kalyani, mother of noted cinema director and founder of Mindscreen Film Institute, Rajiv Menon, developed symptoms of stroke and was immediately rushed to the hospital here, where she breathed her last, the sources added. 

The last rites and cremation would be held in the city's Besant Nagar area on Tuesday afternoon. Kalyani Menon began her career in singing in the 1970s as a classical singer. Menon's famous songs with noted singer K J Yesudas in Malayalam include ''Rithubheda Kalpana Charutha Nalkiya'' of 1983 movie ''Mangalam Nerunnu'' and ''Pavanarachezhuthunnu Kolangalennum'' of Mohanlal-starrer ''Vietnam Colony'' released in the year 1992. 

Born in Ernakulam, she started singing at the age of five in the ''Navaratri sangeeth utsav'' organised in the famous TDM hall there. She began her career as a playback singer by singing in Thoppil Bhasi-directed Malayalam movie ''Abala''. Besides Malayalam, she has sung in a number of Tamil movies for top musicians Ilayaraja and A R Rahman. While she crooned for Ilayaraja in ''Nallathoru Kudumbam'', among others, she gave hits under Rahman. including in ''Vinnai Thandi Varuvaya'' in 2010. Kerala Governor Arif Mohamed Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condoled the demise of Menon.

"Sad to hear about the demise of Smt.#KalyaniMenon, playback singer who has sung over 100 songs in Malayalam &Tamil films. My condolences to the bereaved family. May her soul attain Mukti", Khan said in a tweet. In his condolence message, Vijayan recalled that she was an active presence in the field of playback singing. The songs sung by her in Malayalam and Tamil will always remain in the minds of the people, he said.

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