Who doesn’t remember the late action hero Jayan of the Malayalam film industry? But what do you know about him?
Long after he died in tragic fashion, Jayan, Mollywood’s first action hero, continues to be in the news, not always for the right reasons. Dropping a bomb, a humble lottery-seller called Murali from Vallikeezhu in Kollam has come forward with a claim that he is the son of the deceased actor, whose real name was Krishnan Nair. The claim is hotly disputed by the family of Jayan’s brother Soman Nair.
“No one will understand the pain in my heart,” says Murali. “I am an unlucky person who has to fight to prove my lineage,” says Murali. He goes on to say that he was born before the actor went on to become famous. According to him, Jayan’s father was the supervisor of Thevalli Kottaram but after his demise, the family, including the actor’s mother Bharathiamma and brother Soman Nair were staying in a small house near the Thevalli bridge.
If Murali’s version is to be believed, his mother Thankamma became friends with Bharathiamma and started living with them while Jayan was serving in the Navy. He is supposed to have developed a liking for Thankamma, who had already separated from her husband Ramakrishnan Achari. They even lived together with the permission of Jayan’s mother, says Murali.
Murali, who was told all this by his mom, says he was born to Jayan and Thankamma in 1971. Apparently, even when he was in the Navy, Jayan used to try his hand in films whenever he came home and after he came for good, he moved to Kochi to focus on films and business. “When he became popular, our life took a U-turn. His relatives said it would be a shame if the world came to know that actor Jayan had a son from a woman who belonged to a lower caste,” says Murali. His mother was forced to leave the house and live independently when Murali was just two. Besides, she did not want Jayan’s money or fame.
The actor did make attempts to take them back but his mother did not agree, worried as she was about her safety as well as her child’s. “She even gave her former husband’s name in my school certificate.”
Murali adds that Jayan used to send them money through his friend Kumaran. “He also promised my mother that he will not marry anybody else. When Jayan’s brother Soman Nair’s wedding was fixed, people thought it was Jayan’s and my mom had gone to the wedding venue to question it. Then, in front of everyone, he declared that it was his brother who was getting married. A complaint was filed in the Kollam West police station and Jayan had given a written statement that I was his son. He did the same when the case was brought before the Chief Judicial Magistrate,” Murali claims.
Murali saw his ‘dad’ twice after he became a superstar, he says. The day after he was cremated, his mother took him to the site and told him that he was indeed his father. But whenever he mentioned it, he was subjected to taunts that he and his mother were out to grab the dead actor’s property. One day, he asked his mother if she was lying and she took him to Kumaran, who addressed him as ‘Baby’s son’ as the actor’s pet name was Kottarathil Baby.
Murali also says that he had visited Jayan’s house twice. Soman Nair’s wife Sreedevi Amma had welcomed him and introduced him to her children Adityan, Lakshmi and Kannan Nair as their elder brother. But the door was completely shut to him and his mother, after Bharathiamma’s demise. “I have had many painful experiences. My father had told many in the industry about having a son. Makeup man M O Devasya even revealed this in an interview to a magazine,” he says. In 2001, a daily also made a story out of it. But when told that all this was causing embarrassment to his ‘sister’ Lakshmi, he decided to keep mum, says Murali.
There was a controversy recently when serial actress Uma Nair said in an interview that she was related to Jayan. There was soon a war of words between her and Lakshmi. Both Lakshmi and Adityan not only dismissed Uma’s claim but also indirectly referred to Murali’s earlier claim of lineage. “They both said someone (etho oruthan) had come saying he is valiyachan’s son. This made me determined to prove that I am Jayan’s son. I have been receiving several threats after I took to the social media about this. I have now decided to move the court to ask for a DNA test. I had approached the police but without any use. I have never tried to get into films and my intention of trying to prove that I am Jayan’s son is not for any gains. I make ends meet by selling lottery tickets, doing electrical works and also by working as a driver. But Jayan is my father and I need to prove it to the world. By matching my DNA with that of Adityan and Kannan Nair, my relationship with Jayan can be proved,” he says.
Can such a DNA test be done? “If the father of a person is no more, by conducting a DNA test with the blood samples of the father’s relative, especially niece or nephew, it is possible to prove one’s lineage,” says Dr Pillay VV, Professor at the Department of Forensic Medicine, Amrutha School of Medicine, Kochi.