COLUMN: Spouse's Turn
Dr. M. Sajish talks about life with singer Sithara
Photo by TP Sooraj
By Shevlin Sebastian
M. Sajish first noticed Sithara Krishnakumar during the B Zone inter-college competitions of Calicut University at Koyilandy in 2004. Sithara, a student of Farook College, was taking part in the light music competition.
“She was wearing a green paavada and blouse and looked cute,” says Sajish, who was the chairman of the university union. “I liked her. Sithara sang Vidyadharan Master's ‘Alakananda Theeram’ very well.”
Sajish continued to come across Sithara during inter-college competitions. By this time, he had become a member of the university syndicate. So, he would also meet up with Sithara’s father, Dr. KM Krishnakumar, an assistant register at the university, who handled examinations. Since the Krishnakumars lived near the university, Sajish became friendly with them. “Sithara’s mother, Saly, an excellent cook, and a committed homemaker, impressed me a lot,” says Sajish.
When Sajish was doing his house surgeoncy in medicine he began thinking about marriage. “I was keen to select a girl on my own,” he says. “I did not want to look at caste, creed, religion or financial background. Since I had an interest in the arts, especially in music, I wanted to marry a girl who had a similar inclination. And the one person who fulfilled this criterion was Sithara.”
Sajish gave a marriage proposal to Krishnakumar and Saly and they accepted, as did his own parents. The marriage took place on August 31, 2008, at a hall in Kozhikode. “There was only an exchange of garlands, and a veena concert by the great artist, Ananthapadmanabham Sir,” says Sajish.
He also gave Sithara a nice wedding gift. They went on a one-week trip to Singapore where they stayed, with Sajish’s friend, Satyen and his family. “There were many beautiful moments, but the one we enjoyed the most was a night safari at the Singapore Zoo,” says Sajish.
Asked about his wife’s qualities, Sajish says, “When she sees people going through a hard time, she melts and really feels for them. She tries to help in whatever way she can.”
However, this can be a negative also. “Sometimes, people have tried to take advantage of her goodness, but being more practical than her, I managed to intervene and save her from tricky situations.”
But Sithara has an unusual trait. If somebody says something negative about her, she reacts very aggressively. “She cannot tolerate a character assassination,” says Sajish.
Again, in a surprising paradox, if somebody criticises her songs, Sithara has no problems. “She is willing to correct herself,” says Sajish. “That’s because Sithara is intensely dedicated to her singing. She trains for hours at a stretch. Since she has taken part in competitions from an early age she has learnt to practise a lot. When she is concentrating on her music she forgets the outer world and is completely focused.”
Interestingly, over five years of their marriage, both have corrected each other. “Now I have become more sensitive to people's feelings, while she has become a little tougher inside and has learnt to say no, if she does not want to do something,” says Sajish.
Like any couple, they have their ups and downs. But their happiest moment occurred when Sithara did a pregnancy test and tested positive. “Sithara is going to give birth next month and both of us are thrilled about it,” says Sajish, a clinical cardiologist at Little Flower Hospital, Angamaly.
Sajish is equally thrilled that Sithara has made a name in playback singing. “Unlike most husbands, I don't suffer from an inferiority complex,” he says. “Instead, I admire and respect her talent. I want to help Sithara develop it as much as possible.”
Asked for tips on having a successful marriage, Sajish says, “All spouses have good and bad qualities. We have to accept both. A husband and wife should be frank and open with each other. You should discuss your problems openly and not keep it within yourself. Lastly, it is very important to have mutual understanding and respect.”
Sithara has won several musical talent shows, like Asianet Saptha Swarangal, Kairali TV Gandharva Sangeetham (Seniors) and Jeevan TV Voice 2004, apart from Jeevan TV's 2 Crore Apple Megastars in 2008. She has worked with noted composers like Ouseppachan, M. Jayachandran and Berny Ignatius. So far she has sung 65 songs. Sithara won the Kerala State Award for Playback Singing (2012) for her song, 'Enundodi Ambili Chantham' in the film, 'Celluloid'. She is also a noted ghazal singer and has performed in India and abroad.
(The New Indian Express, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram)