Mohammad Sabir "Baburaj" (also known as M. S. Baburaj) was a Malayalam music composer. He is often credited for the renaissance of Malayalam film music.
His early childhood was spent in destitution and poverty. His father, who was a Hindustani musician from Bengal who frequently held concerts in Kerala, deserted his Malayali mother when he was very young, and returned to his native Kolkata. Baburaj thus became a semi-orphan, often singing songs in trains to make a living. But as luck would have it, a policeman from his native town of Kozhikode, noticing the boy's vocal talents, decided to adopt him. Baburaj thus found an avenue where his talents could blossom.
One of his greatest achievements was the introduction Hindustani strains into Malayalam popular music. He successfully composed beautiful melodies based on Hindustani Ragas and perfectly blended Malayalam lyrics in them. Most of the lyrics were written by eminent poets of Kerala like P. Bhaskaran and Vayalar. The team produced many exquisite songs that awe connoisseurs even today.
Baburaj though a talented and successful composer, was never a careerist. He was known to be an alcoholic and finally died nearly a pauper. Today, various clubs and musical organisations conduct many stage programs in honor of Baburaj (Babuka to his own townspeople), and their earnings are handed over to his family. The Manorama Music company, chanced upon an old audio cassette of Baburaj rendering some of his own compositions. It was recorded during those heady musical evenings that Baburaj and his friends occasionally indulged in during the 1960s. The cassette was re-mixed and became an instant hit.
Some of his evergreen hits are:
Thamsamenthe Varuvan Pranasakhi (Why so late, my dear)
Oru pushpam mathramen, hridayathil sookshikkam (Only a flower do I treasure in my heart)
Vasantha panjami naalil.. (On that night of the full moon)
Kaneerum swapnangalum, vilkkuvanaayi vannavan njan (Tears and dreams have I come to offer you)
Pathiravayilla Pournamisandhyakku Pathinezhoe Pathinettoe Prayam
PottathaPonnin Kinavu Kondoru Pattunoolonjala Ketti Njan
Panja Varna Thatha Pole Konji Vanna Penne
Pranasakhee njan verumoru