The first meeting between Zaira and music composer Shaan Rahman took place on Marine Drive at Kochi in May, 2009. When Zaira saw Shaan, she was taken aback. He was wearing a black shirt and blue jeans, while Zaira was wearing a black salwar kameez. “We think alike,” she said, pointing at the colour of their clothes. Shaan smiled.
“I was worried about whether he would be shorter than me,” says Zaira, who is 5’ 5”. “But, thankfully, he is of my height. Then I noticed how handsome he is. However, once we started talking, looks and height did not matter.”
Zaira was aware that even though Shaan came from a well-to-do family - his father has a thriving logistics business - he had embarked on a career as a music composer. “I was not apprehensive at all, even though I was told it was a competitive profession,” she says.
Following that first meeting, which came through an official proposal, both realised that they liked each other. The wedding took place on October 11, 2009, at Kozhikode. “I cannot remember much of the day, because I was in a daze,” says Zaira. “But the first thing I did was to go to a beauty parlour to get my make-up done.”
However, the one moment that remained etched in her heart was stepping into her husband’s house, for the first time, with her right foot. “I realised that this is also my home,” says Zaira. “The place where I will spend a lot of my time.”
And now, having spent a few years with Shaan, she has a good idea of his character. “All human beings have a selfish gene, but not Shaan,” she says. “He does not know what being selfish is. I keep thinking, ‘How can he be so selfless?’ For example, if I want to go out, and even if he is busy, he will immediately say yes, and come with me.”
One reason is because Shaan is a family-oriented person. “There is nothing beyond that,” says Zaira. That is why, despite his friends in Mollywood urging him to move to Kochi or Chennai, he has remained in Kozhikode. “They tell him that he should meet people and strike up a rapport, so that he can get good projects,” says Zaira. “However, Shaan finds that hard to do.”
But he finds it easy to read a woman’s moods. “If I am feeling low, he will realise that just by looking at my face,” she says. “Shaan will ensure that I get the space I need. Or he will ask whether I would like to go to my parents’ home at Kochi.”
When he has a project, Shaan works from midnight till dawn, at his studio on the ground floor of their house. “His creativity is at his best then,” says Zaira. And he ensures that there is no disturbance for his family by using headphones.
Zaira is amazed at Shaan’s composing ability. “He has not studied music at all,” she says. “There is nobody in his family who has a music background. Yet Shaan is a good composer, thanks to his God-given talent.”
Shaan’s turning point occurred when Vineeth Sreenivasan’s film, Thattathin Marayathu, became a hit, and the songs, which Shaan composed, became popular. And now he is back in the spotlight thanks to his work in the latest hit, Om Shanti Oshana. Zaira’s favourite song in the film is Sneham Cherum Neram, which is sung by Rinu Rezak and Hisham. “It is melodious and soothing to the ears,” she says. “It transports me to a different time and makes me feel happy and romantic.”
Shaan keeps things romantic with Zaira by going for long drives in his Skoda Superb. “He loves driving and never gets tired,” she says. “Even after six hours in the car Shaan feels fresh.” His one unusual habit is to keep changing cars. “He must be the only person I know who upgrades every year,” she says, with a laugh. “Shaan is also crazy about the latest mobile phones.”
But the one person whom Shaan is most crazy about is their son Rayaan (Islamic meaning: ‘Gateway to heaven’), who was born three years ago. “Shaan has all this love in his eyes when he smiles at Rayaan,” says Zaira. “Because he is so busy, whatever little time he gets, Shaan spends it with our son.”
Meanwhile, when asked for tips for a successful marriage, Zaira says, “You must be ready to forgive. When you identify the negative traits of your husband, the wife should be tolerant about it. In most marriages, one spouse will repeat, ‘You made the mistake, you made the mistake.’ If you keep these thoughts in your mind, it will never work. Secondly, we need to take life in an easy manner. Don’t let the troubles get to you. Then when you come home, you will feel relaxed, and the family will be happy.”