Tuesday, May 01, 2012

‘I feel blessed to live with Jayachandran’

COLUMN: Spouse's Turn 

Priya talks about her life with music director M. Jayachandran

By Shevlin Sebastian

In 1991, Priya was studying in the NSS College for Women, Thiruvananthapuram. A group of her friends had joined the MBS Youth choir run by music composer M B Sreenivasan. Jayachandran was also a member. Priya accompanied her friends for the rehearsals. And she would silently admire the singing talent of Jayachandran.

After a few months, they began talking. “Jayachandran knew my brother Praveen and our family,” says Priya. Later, at another function, Priya's friend, Rekha, came up to her and told her that Jayachandran was interested in her. Soon, they started talking on the phone.

“One of the first things Jayachandran told me was that I would have to wait five years, to get married,” says Priya. He wanted to complete his studies at the T.K.M. College of Engineering, Kollam, and thereafter, enter the music field. “It is my passion,” he said. “Are you agreeable to this?”

Priya said yes. Nevertheless, the engagement took place within four years and they tied the knot on November 12, 1995.

Asked to analyse her husband's character, Priya says, “Jayachandran is a good human being. He mixes easily with all types of people, whether rich or poor. He is a good son and always cared for his mother. They were very attached to each other.”

In fact, so close was Jayachandran to his mother, that he urged Priya to also have a heart-felt relationship. “I did so,” says Priya. “As a result, my husband's love for me increased.” Unfortunately for the music composer, his mother died of colon cancer three years ago.

In fact, during the last stages, Jayachandran would come into the room and play his songs. “His mother was unable to speak, but there would be tears in her eyes as she listened intently,” says Priya. It was during this time that Jayachandran composed the unforgettable ‘Amma mazhakaaru’, from the film, ‘Madambi’.’

He is a man steeped in music and it took some time for Priya to understand his artistic nature. “When Jayachandran is composing music, he goes off into a different world,” she says. “He may be at home, but he is constantly thinking about the song, and the situation in the film. In the initial years, I would get upset. I would be telling him something, but Jayachandran was always distracted, and would not respond at all. Over the years I have realised that creative people are like that.”

In fact, Priya felt that if she threw a tantrum, it would block her husband's creativity. So she left him alone. And, gradually, she took on the responsibility of running the household. The couple has two children, Nandagopal, 15, and Karthik, 10. 
Asked about her husband’s shortcomings, she says, “Jayachandran has a short temper, but he cools down very soon.He can be moody at times.”

But husband and wife are really close. “When Jayachandran composes a new tune, he makes Priya hear it. Most of the time, it is on the phone, because he is in a recording studio in Chennai. “I tell him them whether I like it or not,” she says. “I have told him sometimes that I don't like a song and he gets angry. But after a few minutes, he will change the tune and make me hear it again.”

For Priya her most unforgettable moment, apart from the children being born, was at the 2003 Kerala State Film Awards function at Thiruvananthapuram. At that time, Jayachandran was on a European tour. So, she received the Best Music Director prize award from Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

“I felt deliriously happy," she says. “I remembered the many years of struggle that my husband had to go through. Fifteen years ago, when Jayachandran embarked on his career, there were far less opportunities. Therefore, this success was all the more sweet.” 

Priya pauses and says, “I feel blessed to live with such a talented person.”

(The New Indian Express, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram) 

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