I sing the song of praise with gratitude

The song ‘nandiyode njan sthuthi paadum’ is a very popular song with the
Christian community in Kerala. A heart that is broken cannot contain the tears while hearing someone singing this song Abraham, also known as Kottayam Patinjarethalakkal Kunjumon, was
laid to rest at the Kottayam Puthanpalli crematory on 15th February 2003.While he was undergoing medical treatment, the choir of Palarivattom Orthodox Church, of which he used to be the Choir Master, sang this song with broken voices because as the song was written by him, in the first place. Then all those who were familiar with this song suddenly realized the fact that it was Abraham who wrote the words and composed the inimitable song.

This song was inspired the by the prayers that his father used to chant during the whole family was engaged in their daily prayers. The prayer was ‘praise you for your unlimited loving kindness, praise you for helping someone who never asked for help’. The song, written and composed in the year 1995, was
presented for the first time at the yearly convention of Palarivattam Church.

Rev. Father T.J Joshua said: “Kunjnjumon would have won many awards if he belonged to a church other than the Orthodox Church.” In spite of this, many awards and recognition were bestowed on to Kunjnjumon. In 1999 he was presented with the Best Song Writer award by Catholic Bava of the Parumala Seminary. In addition, Malankara Orthodox Sabha decided to give the Best Devotional Song Writer award to him. The award was scheduled to be presented to him at the Aradhana Geetha
Festival of November, 2002 November at Kotayam Mamman Mappila Hall. However, by then Abraham became sick. Later, Rev. Father M.P George visited him at his house and presented him the award. Abraham in a low and humble voice stated at the occasion: “I am not eligible for this award because I only write down and compose the songs as God directed me to.”

Abraham was bon on 25th April 1932, the eldest son of Abraham Kutty and Venkatathu Mariyamma of the Patinjarethalakkal family living on the banks of the Meenachil River, Thazhathangadi, and Kottayam. Ever since his childhood he had shown considerable  interest in music.  His parents encouraged their children to learn music.

After completing his collage studies, he got a job with the Indal factory in Kalamasseri and relocated to Aluva. At that time he learned classical music too. He had won a prize in a competition conducted by All India Radio. First he organized a music troop in Eloor Church. When he was transferred to Palarivattom, he served as the coordinator of the choir in the Palarivattom Orthodox Church.

He always used to say that it was God who sends songs to his mind and he only notes them down and composes them. Father Joshua, Director of OVBS, said that it is Abraham who helped with his songs for OVBS. He wrote many Christmas songs as well. He also wrote a host of other songs, that held spiritual insights and words that really touched the hearts of all those who heard them. He found international recognition when he was invited to Bangalore by Feba and from there he sang songs which were
broadcasted from Manila Station.

Abraham, who was an all rounder, worked in the Accounts department of Indian Aluminum Industries. In 1985, he retired as the Assistant Superintendent of the Commercial Department of the company. His abilities were not confined to music alone, but were interested in painting. He also underwent a course in Textile Printing and Designing from Delhi. He had designed bed sheets, pillow covers and lungies for Kitex, Kizhakkampalam. He had organized an exhibition of Sculpture created from discarded aluminum
sheets at the Ernakulam Park. He used to make sculpture in fiber glass and concrete too.

On 6th July 1964, Abraham married Sanju, daughter of Chengannur Ayirukkuzhi George Aipe. Sanju, after retiring from Ernakulam Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan as the Vice Principal, worked as a teacher in
Gregorian Public School. Their elder daughter Bindu is married to Payippatt Kaniyanthara and elder daughter Thanu to Kakkanad Punnakkappilli.

Till October 2002, Kunjumon served as the Choir Master of Palarivattom Church. On October 19th he had to undergone a surgery. While resting in the hospital he wrote his last song on 24th October. The song occurred to him as he heard the afternoon call to prayer from a Muslim Mosque nearby.

For the rest of the days, he was tortured by pain and sickness. Cancer brought his rich and varied life to a tragic end. But death cannot erase him from the memory of those who heard his song and knew him. It is certain sure that the song “nandiyote sthuthi paadum” will be continue to be the foremost song in the repertoire of Christian devotional songs for a long time to come.

-----Translated from Malayalam
I sing the song of praise with gratitude I sing the song of praise with gratitude Reviewed by Jayesh/ജയേഷ് on June 09, 2014 Rating: 5