The suicide of V. Mahadevan, husband of carnatic vocalist Nithyashree Mahadevan, on Thurday was a big shock to music lovers, at a time when the ‘Music Season’ is at its peak in the city.
Nithyasree is the granddaughter of revered musician D.K. Pattammal (paternal) and Mrudangam maestro Palghat Mani Iyer (maternal). She has made a mark not only in carnatic music, but also in film music, after her debut for A.R. Rahman for the film Jeans.
According to police sources, 45-year-old Mahadevan, a mechanical engineer, had gone to fix a battery on his two-wheeler around 11 a.m. on Thursday and returned to his apartment on 4th Main Road Extension in Kotturpuram, where he resided with his wife and two young daughters.
He then took out his car along with driver Suresh after telling him that they were going to get the battery. Mahadevan who drove the car, however took a U-turn after taking the Kotturpuram bridge and came back on the bridge. He stopped the car, ran out and jumped into the Adyar River, police said.
Traffic came to a standstill on the bridge as Mahadevan’s white sedan was stranded on the middle of the bridge as he jumped with the car keys in his pocket. Suresh alerted the family members while police and firemen reached the spot and recovered Mahadevan’s dead body from the river in 30 minutes' time.
Ms. Nithyashree told investigators that there was no misunderstanding between family members and her husband was terribly upset after the demise of his mother Shanta in April.
He was also taking prescribed medication for hypertension, police said. However, he was active in maintaining the singer’s programme schedule.
It was a long wait for family and media persons who had gathered at the mortuary of the Government Royapettah Hospital. While media had started trickling into the hospital premises as early as 2 p.m., some friends of the bereaved family arrived a little while later.
Around 3.15 p.m. two relatives, Nithyashree’s brother-in-law R. Sundararaman and her nephew Ajai Sundararaman, both doctors at Apollo Hospitals, arrived.
A friend of the family said media attention had caused the delay in bringing the body from the Teynampet branch of Apollo Hospital.
An hour later Mahadevan’s father V. Viswanathan and younger brother V. Prakash, arrived.
Fifteen minutes, later the body of Mahadevan was brought in to the hospital. As the body was taken into the mortuary Dr. Sundararaman said, “A very young person has died. We are in extreme grief. Please give us our space.”
An hour later after post-mortem the body was handed over to the family.
A posse of mediapersons gathered outside the singer’s ancestral house on Vellaiyan Road in Kotturpuram where the body was brought in the evening.
Several musicians, including P. Unnikrishnan, T.M. Krishna and Vijay Siva, were seen at the venue.