When asked whether he expected the award, he said: "I don't think about awards and such diversions. I think only about music."
Starring Mammootty, the film revolves around King Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja, who revolted against the erstwhile British East India Company when they imposed high revenue policies upon the people of Kottayam kingdom.
Ilayaraja also thanked director Hariharan and Executive Producer Pravin for their support during the making of the film. "I composed the score in 15 days and sent it to Budapest...We recorded it with a symphony orchestra," he told reporters after the 57th National Film Awards were announced.
Speaking about the art of composing music, he said: "Mere keyboard playing is not composing music. When I did this background score for Pazhassi Raja, I envisioned each shot, the story and how it was going to be executed on screen and felt the music and situation. That is composing. When you create something, the feelings of the director should get translated into music. This has happened in this film. And my request is, don't call keyboard players as music composers. Composing is different. Today's music is completely out of its shape and originality. The present generation almost changed the film music to shabby look."
Legendary composer Ilayaraja, who bagged the National Award for the best background score for Mammootty starring film Pazhassi Raja, requested the media not to call the keyboard players as music composers.