For the love of her husband, as she puts it, Shobhana Raveendran, wife of the late music director Raveendran, is basking in the glory of her second memoir ‘Thenum Vayambum.’ Her debut work, ‘Raveendra Sangeetham, Kelkaatha Ragangal’ had brought her much applause, but as she says, “The memories are yet to be fully disclosed. I guess it’s natural. A wife’s memories about her husband cannot be included in a thousand-page book. Having lived with him for thirty-two years, Maash redefined my life in many ways. When, initially I used to write several articles in many magazines, I realised I had much more to convey and thus my first work was born’’. The two book-old writer says that all the details jotted in ‘Thenum Vayambum’ are not much different from her debut work.
‘’After all, there is only one memory and not two. But the speciality about ‘Thenum Vayambum’ is that I felt more at ease in writing it and this time I felt I should reveal only what should be publicised. Before giving over the final draft to Lipi Publications, I did a lot of editing work.’’
So are there more concealed memories? ‘’Definitely. Maash was a successful man at both work and home. He was a completely different man when it came to personal issues,’’ she says. Going down memory lane, Shobhana believes that life is not a bed of roses. ‘’I guess the titles of both my works reflect that,’’ she smiles. ‘’Raveendra Sangeetham was definitely expensive. But Raveendran as a person stayed away from being pricey. He was a poor businessman. He was not ready to tag a rate for his products. As a result, though his works excelled above many others of his time, Maash was deprived, to be more factual, he denied himself the material and financial luxuries he could have enjoyed. Though his compositions topped the charts, if you take the number of his works, it’s just the bare minimum. I have always felt he never got due acceptance, neither when he was alive nor after he passed away. But I have no complaints. He was god-gifted and a musician is someone I believe is near to god.’’
At work Raveendran Maash was a dedicated goldsmith. ‘’He was not ready for any compromises. The prime example is the case with our own son. He loved to sing but had some issues with Malayalam language. Whenever he expressed his desire to sing, Maash would always say that he should first master the language. He tried, but could not meet the expectations that his father demanded. Hence he never got a chance to sing for Raveendra Sangeetham. Even today his greatest grief is nothing but this’’. Raveendran-Shobhana’s youngest son Naveen is today a playback singer in Tamil movies and their twin sons are into the film industry, taking notable positions in music composing and film direction.
Shobhana remembers her husband as a great family man. ‘’The fame and celebrity ways of the film industry never flattered him. Even in the midst of his heavy schedules, Maash was very punctual with his family. Till the time our boys passed out from school he used to drop and pick them up and was a very strict dad when it came to studies. He never had any membership in any film organisation and he would always keep away from celebrity gatherings’’.
Nine years have passed since the maestro left the space void and today Shobhana says she finds solace in her mate’s memories.
“Looking back, I realise I have had more bitter memories. Because being engaged full time in a film industry was definitely not easy like these days. Today my sons are also following in their father’s footsteps and I am happy they are keeping the legacy alive. Maash is our guiding force and he is with us even now,’’ she winds up.