Story behind how B Sivasankaran Nair became Bichu Thirumala

Bichu Thirumala

Mollywood’s evergreen lyricist Bichu Thirumala was born as B Sivasankaran, son of C G Bhaskaran Nair and Parukutty Amma in 1942. There was a funny story behind how Sivasankaran became Bichu. The lyricist had shared this story once…

“My mother Parukutty Amma’s father Sivaraman Pillai was an English scholar and a voracious reader. He had read almost all world classics. Bichu was the name of a very honest character in some novel he read. Thus it became my pet name when I was a child. Later, I took up that name as my official name. Now I’m Bichu Thirumala in all my official records. I wrote everything under this name.

Several funny incidents had happened in connection with this name. Many people had wrongly addressed me as ‘Bichu Ikka’ thinking I was a Muslim. But I didn’t correct them.

After completing BA from Thiruvananthapuram University College, I had worked as a company representative for a while. I had to travel to many places as part of the job. These journeys helped me understand the culture and lifestyle in different parts of the state.

Once I was travelling in a cycle rickshaw in Kozhikode. The rickshaw driver stopped at a place and went to a shop during the journey. When he came back, the shop keeper called him from behind, ‘Bichu, don’t go… I have something to tell you…’

I was wonderstruck. I had never visited Kozhikode before and how he knew my name. But the shopkeeper came to the rickshaw and started talking with the driver. I understood that he was a Muslim from his way of dressing. It was then I realized that Bichu was a common name among Muslims. When we continued journey, I revealed my name and the rickshaw driver smiled at me in wonder….”

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