Jayan

Film star Jayan was one of Kerala’s most famous actors in the 70s. He was Malayalam cinema’s first action hero. He was also Sree’s cousin. When we were in our first year at med school Jayan came to do a film shoot in the studios close to our College campus. One afternoon, Sree gets a phone call telling her to get ready and bring her friends to meet her famous cousin. The four of us were ready in no time. We were picked up from our hostel in a bright parrot green classic Cadillac. None of us had ever seen anything like it. We were the envy of all the girls that day. As we drove down to the studios we felt like film stars ourselves. When we reached the studio, Jayan came to greet us. Jayabharathi and Sukumaran were also there. Jayabharathi was Jayan’s cousin and so related to Sree as well. I remember looking at her and thinking that she looked prettier in the flesh than on the screen. They chatted for a while. We were fed and looked after like VIPs that day. We saw a couple of scenes being shot before we left that evening.

A couple of years later in 1980 Jayan died in a tragic accident while doing his own stunt scene hanging from a helicopter.

I was surprised that he is still revered in Kerala, after all these years. Even the younger generation who were not around when he was alive think highly of him. That day we were Jayan’s baby cousin sister’s friends. We have no photos to show for it. I don’t even remember the name of the film, but the memories are enough.

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