Internationally known singer Vani Jairam who passed away on the weekend at her home in Nungambakkam had many. Mylapore connections.
One was her schooling and then study at Queen Marys College.
V. Vasantha, who co ordinated her visit to the QMC centenary in 2014, recalls her thoughts and memories here –
Vani’s maiden name was Kalaivani and started her education at Lady Sivaswamy Ayyar Girls High School, Mylapore.
As a budding music artiste, she shone in the school cultural meets in music and in drama.
Her school batchmates say that she used to lead the daily prayer during the school’s morning assembly.
She won all music competitions and got prizes. She was brilliant in academics too. She finished her school final in the year 1960.
People close to her say that her residence was then around Mundagakanni Amman Temple, Mylapore during her school days. ( probably on Madhava Perumal Koil Street.)
Her mother Padmavathy was her first guru in Carnatic music.
After school, Vani joined QMC and completed her BA in Economics. At college annual day celebrations, her participation in the entertainment slot in the evening was a much sought after programme.
During college days, Devasena (later director Sridhar’s wife) was her very close friend.
QMC celebrated the college centenary in the year 2014 in July. Apart from the veteran alumnae of QMC’s famous Music Department, the organising committee invite the celebrity play back singer to be present on that day. She not only graced the occasion but also performed on the dais on the request of the ‘old girls’.
– File photo of Vani Jayaram decorated with a ‘Legend’ award in Nov.2022 at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan by TN governor.