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A big shock to music lovers

    Petlee Peter
    R. Sujatha
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T.M. Krishna, left, and Unni Krishnan (second from right) at the residence of Nithyasree at Kotturpuram in Chennai on Thursday.Photo: K. Pichumani
T.M. Krishna, left, and Unni Krishnan (second from right) at the residence of Nithyasree at Kotturpuram in Chennai on Thursday.Photo: K. Pichumani

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.

Nithyashree, one of the top musicians of today, belongs to a great lineage – she is the grand daughter of revered musician D.K. Pattammal (paternal) and Mrudangam maestro Palghat Mani Iyer (maternal). Nithyashree 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 4{+t}{+h}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 immediately after the incident and Mahadevan’s white sedan was standing on the middle of the bridge as he jumped with the car keys in his pocket.

Driver Suresh alerted the family members while police and firemen reached the spot and fished out 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 on April 23, 2012. He was also taking prescribed medication for hypertension, police said.

However, he was active in maintaining the singer’s programme schedule. Nithyashree was unsure on why he took the extreme step, sources added.

Long wait

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. Within an hour, media presence had grown but there was no sign of the body. 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,” when some media persons sought to speak to him.

An hour later after post-mortem the body was handed over to the family.

A posse of mediapersons gathers 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.

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