I witnessed Jayan's death: Kalliyoor Shashi
Kollam: "I witnessed Jayan falling from the helicopter and his taking the last breath," says Kalliyoor Shashi, the production executive of Kolilakkam. Jayan ,who has been acclaimed as the first action hero of malayalam cinema, died during the shooting of Kolilakkam.
Goind down memory lane, Shashi says, "Three cameras were placed at the shooting area in Sholavaram air strip; only few people including the technicians were there. The helicopter crashed just a 50 meters away from where I stood. The pilot of the helicopter Sampath and actor Balan K Nair fell from the two sides of the chopper.
I ran towards Jayan. Most of the other people were far away. The fear of the petrol filled chopper exploding was there in my mind. My friend and camera assistant Ranganath helped in lifting up and carrying Jayan to the car."
"It was raining heavily when we took Jayan in his fiat car to the nearby hospital and later to the general hospital. Though Neurosurgeon Dr Narendran performed the surgery, the end came in the evening," he said.
"Jayan was behind Sukumaran who was riding the motorcycle while Balan K Nair , who was the villain, was sitting in the helicopter. The scene of Jayan trying to capture the villain who was trying to escape in the helicopter, was beautifully shot three times.
It was upon Jayan's insistence that the scene was shot for the fourth time," Shashi said.
Contrary to the previous take, Jayan entwined his leg on the helicopter skid and tried to climb up and capture Balan K Nair.
Balan K Nair then put his leg out and dissuaded Jayan from the attempt.
"No one had witnessed this scene other than me from close quarters. Nobody was there in the vicinity at all. I had told Jayan to jump from the helicopter when I sensed that the helicopter's trajectory was going wrong. If he had jumped then, he would have fallen on tall grass," Shashi remembers.
"Because of the weight, the helicopter lost balance. Many stories and rumours started circulating about Jayan's death from those days itself. It is still going on. There is no truth in such stories," Kalliyoor Shashi makes it clear.