COLUMN: Spouse's Turn
Jaimie Maya talks about life with the disc jockey cum actor Sekhar Menon
By Shevlin Sebastian
One afternoon, in 2012, Jaimie Maya and her husband, the actor and disc jockey Sekhar Menon, went to the Penta Menaka building at Kochi to buy a mobile phone. This was just after 'Da Thadiya' was released, in which Sekhar plays an obese youth. “Things went crazy quite quickly,” says Maya. “People were taking videos of us buying a phone. They wanted to take photos with Sekhar, hug him and shake his hands. There were many camera flashes. But they were all friendly. Sekhar was worried because I was seven months pregnant.”
Today, the couple are proud parents of Kaamaakhya. “Sekhar was busy when Kaamaakhya was born and felt that he was not able to bond with her,” says Maya. “But, at seven months, Kaamaakhya looked at his face, held his chin and said, 'Accha'. This was the first word she uttered. That blew Sekhar away. At ten months, she was already scolding Sekhar on the phone. She would say, 'Where are you?' and walk up and down the living room, with the phone placed next to her ears.”
Sekhar is not at home often, because he is busy with his DJing as well as his film career. At present, he is acting in 'Kandhari', directed by Ajmal, and '100 Days of Love', which has Dulquer Salman and Nithya Menon in the lead. It is the debut film of director Kamal's son, Jenuse Mohammed.
Maya met Sekhar for the first time, when, as part of a group of girls, they asked the DJ to provide some music for a fashion show which was part of the cultural fest at St. Teresa's College. “At that time, he was wearing his signature clothing: jeans, a check shirt and a beret,” says Maya. “However, I did not feel an instant attraction.”
Thereafter, because they had mutual acquaintances, they continued to meet each other at coffee shops and malls. “We were friends for a long time,” she says. “But, at some point, we began to feel attracted to each other.”
When asked whether his size was a hindrance, Maya smiles, at her apartment in Kochi, and says, “I am a big-size myself, so that was not an issue at all. I find Sekhar handsome and sexy.”
And he has other qualities that she admires. “Sekhar is a self-made man,” says Maya. “He is always positive minded. He says, 'If not this, what is the next opportunity?'”
Sekhar is also close to his parents. “Day-to-day they know what is going on in his life,” says Maya. “That usually does not happen with a young man who is into music. But what I like most about him is that he is God-fearing. No matter where he is, he makes it a point to go and pray at the Ernakulathappan Shiva temple on every Saturday. This was a big wow for me. I believe that at the end of the day you need to place yourself in God's hands.”
But there was one searing moment which tested their faith in God. On November 20, 2006, Shankar, who was Sekhar's elder brother, by two years, died in a motorbike accident at Bangalore. “In a way it was a turning point for me,” says Maya. “I realised that life is too short and if you love somebody you should not wait for everything to fall into place. Sometimes, we think, we may be too young to get married and should wait for two or three years.”
But Maya and Sekhar did not wait, for too long. They had a registered marriage on January 16, 2008. “We had a small get-together at Sekhar's home,” says Maya. “The most memorable moment for me occurred when, after lunch, like a true husband, Sekhar dropped me off at work.” At that time, Maya was working as an operations manager in a private banking firm.
And although they did not have a honeymoon, Maya would accompany Sekhar whenever he had his gigs as a DJ. So far, he has done over 500 events. “Sekhar plays the best music that I have ever heard, and I am not saying this just because he is my husband,” says Maya. “He is superbly talented, confident and relaxed. He is always smiling and dancing and his adrenalin is flowing.”
But Maya's own adrenalin-flowing moment occurred when she went, along with Sekhar and the family, for the first-day, first-show screening of Sekhar's debut film, 'Da Thadiya', at Saritha theatre, on December 21, 2012.
“He acted vulnerable in the film,” says Maya. “That surprised me. He does not show this aspect in real life. Throughout the show, people were coming up and congratulating him, because they had recognised Sekhar. And when he came out of the theatre, they all wanted to hug him.”
The film was a hit, but there were good signs much earlier. “The first day he went for the shoot was the day we came to know that I was pregnant,” says Maya. “The director, Aashique Abu, said that it was a good omen.”
And the good omens continue for Sekhar and Maya Menon.
(The New Indian Express, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram)