M.J.C. Comagan, a visually impaired singer and founder of the Raaga Priya orchestra, died here on Thursday. He was 48 and is survived by his wife and two children.
Mr. Comagan and his orchestra, whose members were visually-impaired as well, had featured in the hugely popular Tamil song Ovvoru Pookalume from director Cheran’s 2004 film Autograph. The song was picturised on the Raaga Priya orchestra with actor Sneha singing along.
Mr. Cheran, in a tweet, said that Mr. Comagan was someone who instilled belief and confidence through his voice and mind.
“For the 25 members of his troupe and their families, he was their eyes. My heart is shattered after hearing about his demise,” he said.
Actor Sneha too, in a post on her social media page, said Comagan was an important part of Ovvoru Pookalume song, which she regards as one of the cherished memories of her life. “I extend my condolences to members of his troupe and his family,” she said.
Raaga Priya, started in 1991 by Mr. Comagan with nine members, soon grew to a 25-member orchestra.
In 1999, they performed for 16 hours non-stop with 183 songs and entered the Limca Book of World records. Over the years, the troupe conducted over 3,000 light music shows and also held fund-raising events. It was also given the Tamil Nadu State Award in 2006.
Comagan had also done small roles in the films Kanukkulle and Sura. He had also composed music for a Tamil film Muthal Muthalai in 2007.
Disability Rights Activist and TARATDAC secretary S. Namburajan said Comagan was also a part of the first Tamil Nadu Welfare Board for the Disabled which was set up in 2008. “He was always keen on highlighting issues faced by persons with disabilities, the visually impaired, in particular. Raaga Priya was an extremely unique initiative for the betterment of visually impaired musicians,” he said.
A family member said the singer had been hospitalised 12 days ago and passed away at 1 a.m. on Thursday. “While the troupe was actively performing before the COVID-19 pandemic, over the last one year they have all been conducting online classes. Comagan too was taking vocal and instrumental classes,” she said.