Remembering Vani Jairam, the voice of the female soul

It is rather strange that two people connected with one breakout movie passed away within two days of one another. K Vishwanath’s Sankarabharanam not only established his foothold in cinema but also gave a splendid height to the rising popularity and talent of its female lead singer, Vani Jairam. The more unique aspect to note is this – of Vani’s three national awards, two were for her rendition of songs for a young male character from Vishwanath’s Sankarabharanam and Swathi Kiranam. Vani Jairam’s own career was unique as well. Here was a South Indian singer who “arrived tailormade for playback singing,” but found her first hit song in Hindi cinema. Till date, her Bholo re papi hara is a hard one to crack in any reality show for the sheer scale of the song, her diction, and her pitch-perfect rendering. Vani’s voice and diction was an aural delight for music composers who gave her songs where the charanam would be on a higher note than the pallavi, making it as tough a song can ever be! Her ability to lead her voice to that high a scale was hitherto possible only for someone like P Susheela. With Vani Jairam, it wasn’t just the scale but also the quality of her voice which was full-throated and strong, like a veena or violin.

She was in many ways a counterpart to say KJ Yesudas who came armed with classical music training. Her ability to get into ghazals and Hindustani classical while retaining a Carnatic swara-base made her an apt choice to be the voice of Aboorva Ragangal’s Srividya in Yezhu swarangalukkul yethanai paadal. It was this MS Vishwanathan song that gave Vani her second National Award. With her ability to sing in more than just the South Indian languages, she was matching strides with SP Balasubrahmanyam, and soon she sang more than 10,000 songs in close to 17 Indian languages with a majority of them being in Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu and Tamil.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.