Siji remembers Sachy on the film maker’s first death anniversary

The untimely demise of talented film maker Sachy has indeed been a grave loss for the Malayalam cinema industry. It’s been a year since Sachy had bid adieu to this world, leaving his friends and fans heartbroken. In a candid chat with Onmanorama, Sachy’s wife Siji opens up about the personal side of the film maker who had always loved to stay out of limelight. Siji says they had been close friends before falling in love and then tying the knot.

“Sachy always conversed in the language of love. Be it to a little child or an old person, he would speak only with love. Those who have talked to Sachy for at least two minutes would never forget him in their life. After Sachy’s demise, I had to console many people instead of them comforting me,” recalls Siji.

Siji says Sachy used to speak a lot to people he loved the most. However, the film maker was a bit shy to open up to strangers. Siji calls Sachy a rebel voice. “We had lots to talk about. We were actually good friends. Friendship had blossomed into love and then marriage,” notes Siji. 

Siji confesses she wasn’t interested in listening to Sachy’s stories in the beginning. However, she became a keen listener as their friendship grew. Moreover, she began expressing opinions and suggestions too. Siji says she hasn’t watched many movies that were written by Sachy. In fact, she has only seen the ones that her late husband had made after 2015. 

After realizing Sachy’s real potential, Siji used to complain that his movies hardly reflected his incredible talent. Sachy would then console her by saying that one could grow in the movies only by being a part of commercial cinema. He promised that he would enjoy more creative freedom when he makes a movie on his own. Siji says the film maker wasn’t fully satisfied with the kind of movies that he had been part of. “Sachy had just started his cinematic journey and Ayyapanum Koshiyum was the beginning of that,” says Siji.

Veteran film maker Ranjith had bankrolled Ayyapanum Koshiyum which had set the cash registers ringing at the box office. “Sachy used to tell that he couldn’t show laxity while writing for someone who had already proved his mettle as a writer. He was invested completely while penning Ayyapanum Koshiyum. He would call me after writing each scene. I used to suggest a few opinions and he would accept them if it suited the plot. He had even changed a few scenes like that. Initially, Prithviraj’s character would die in the climax of the movie Anarkali. It was I who suggested that he should live. The audience would leave the theater feeling happy that the lovers would live happily ever after,” reveals Siji.

More than their married life, Siji loves to talk about their special friendship. She says they had been deeply in love until his last moments. “I doubt whether anyone had loved each other the way we had. We didn’t begin our relationship at a young age when we weren’t mature. Instead, we fell in love after experiencing life as mature adults. So, our love too was intense,” notes Siji.

Sachy’s swan song Ayyapanum Koshiyum is Siji’s favorite movie made by her late husband. She admits she hasn’t even watched Run Baby Run, another hit movie that was written by Sachy, completely. Sachy used to say that he liked Siji as the latter wasn’t interested in watching films. One day, Sachy and Siji sat down to watch Run Baby Run. Seeing Siji’s face, after 10 – 15 minutes, Sachy realized that it was difficult making her watch movies. 

“I hadn’t watched Thoovanathumbikal. It was a week before Sachy’s surgery that I had watched that film. Sachy and his son had locked me in a room to make we watch it. He said that the movie was made by a legend and I, being the wife of a film maker, ought to watch it. After watching the movie, Sachy had called Prithviraj. After some time, the actor called him back and agreed to do a remake of the movie. It was Sachy’s greatest dream to recreate Thoovanathumbikal,” reveals Siji.

Siji says the character of John, a lawyer, played by Lal in Chettayees is the closest to Sachy. Moreover, she thinks that both Ayyapan and Koshy have traces of Sachy’s traits. “I wouldn’t say these characters are like Sachy. But, they did have some of his mannerisms. Sachy used to take everything on a lighter note. So, I had the freedom to speak openly with him,” she says.

“After stumbling upon a story, he would study deeply about it. He struggles hard to enter into a writing ‘mode’. However, once he begins writing, he would abruptly stop smoking, drinking or even eating non vegetarian food. He would then live like an ascetic. He would always travel to the shrine of Mookambika before he starts writing a script. Even while writing, he would begin a day only after praying at the nearby temple. A script would be completed in fifteen to twenty days. Even if he switched off both his phones, he had a separate number only for me to call,” recalls Siji.

Sachy had stayed at Attapadi while writing Ayyapanum Koshiyum to understand more about the life style of the people there. He had been curious to know about how a regular police station functions and about the camaraderie between the policemen. Siji says Sachy had a special knack for detailing in all his movies.

“Sachy was a very caring husband. He used to remember everything. My birthday fell when he was filming in Attapadi. He came home as a surprise just to celebrate my birthday,” Siji signs off. 

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