She was always Vaniyamma who treated me like a sibling

Vani Jayaram
Vani Jayaram. Photo: Manorama

I used to call her Vaniyamma. She has sung 92 of the songs I wrote and composed. Also in music albums. Vani’s second Malayalam song and the first song she sang for me was in the film I directed, ‘Thiruvonam’. I was the one who suggested her name to Arjunan Master. We don’t have an Onam without that ‘Thiruvonapulari’ song. Later she sang a duet with Yesudas called ‘Valkkanezhuthi’ in the film ‘Picnic.’ Both were superhits.

She always treated me like a sibling. And vice versa. Though she had a studio of her own and released several songs, it didn’t work well.

No matter how famous her co-singer was Vani Jayaram was someone who fearlessly pointed out the errors if she saw any. In ‘Shankupushpam’ there is a song called ‘Sapthaswarangalum’. The song composed in multiple ragas was sung so beautifully by her. Some of her superhit songs like ‘Ethu Panthal Kandalum,’ ‘Pakal Swapnathil,’ ‘Thedi Thedi njanalanju,’ Mavin kombilirinnu’ were all written by me.

She always sang by understanding the meaning of the lyrics. Because there was a poet in her.  

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