Malayalam cinephiles almost lost their favorite on-screen wit when actor Jagathy Sreekumar was laid low by a harrowing road accident on March 10, 2012. Jagathy—as he is popularly known— was on his way to a film location in Coorg on the Kerala-Karnataka border when his vehicle rammed into a median strip on a bend in the road near Kozhikode.
The accident at the crack of dawn left the actor with multiple injuries to his head, chest, and abdomen. The 70-year-old thespian, who had ruled the realm of comedy in Mollywood through versatile roles in over 1,100 films, has been mostly away from tinsel town for the last nine years as he is still recuperating from the cruel twist of fate.
Anil Kumar, who drove Jagathy’s car on a fateful day, distinctly recollects the brutal crash that occurred on one of the most perilous stretches of the National Highway 66 (erstwhile NH 17). “It all happened in a split second. I heard a sound and the moment I turned to one side, the car hit the median,” he says.
Kumar, who has recovered from his injuries and still works as a chauffeur in the cinema industry, however, puts partial blame on the median strip which, he claims, had no reflectors. “It was still dark. There were no reflectors on the divider. Also, there were no street lights in the vicinity,” he says, pointing to one of the oft-neglected pitfalls in road infrastructure.
The median strips, meant to streamline turbulent traffic and avert chances of a head-on collision, turn into death traps for commuters when installed without following safety guidelines. The speeding vehicle either rams into a divider that appears from nowhere or hits the lip of the median strip, flips, and rolls into oncoming traffic. Though the finger of blame in most such cases is pointed at the man behind the wheel, there are reasons beyond his control, too.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
The flying workhorse
Known for precision and reliability, the MQ-9 Reaper combat drones will boost India’s offensive capabilities
Will do my best to protect Punjab from anti-nationals like Sidhu
INTERVIEW Amarinder Singh, former Punjab chief minister
In the turbulence of geopolitics, India seeks a balance between groupings and bilateral ties
FREE TO FLOW
Stepping down from T20 captaincy could help Virat Kohli rediscover the superstar batsman in him
Coping by copying
The Congress leadership in Kerala is converting the party into a semi-cadre organisation for its revival
Anaesthetists are a rare breed, barely seen or heard. They work tirelessly, ensuring painless surgeries for patients. But little is known about their work and the pressure involved
Fight to the finish
With elections on the horizon, Mayawati is hoping for a strong comeback
Mamata Banerjee wants to not only win Bhabanipur, but also weaken the BJP in West Bengal
A MOUTHFUL OF AVADH
A few connoisseurs and chefs are trying to revive erstwhile Avadhi dishes in their authentic form
Gandhis Initiate Purge; More Steps Underway To Revamp Congress
The ruthless removal of Amarinder Singh shows a newfound decisiveness in the Congress high command. But the bravado has not answered the existential questions that the party and the Gandhis face
THE BRAND NEW YOU
The dynamic Nilufer Sheriff talks about the popular Hair Fair cosmetology clinics that she runs in Thrissur, Kochi and Kozhikode. She also recounts the story of her life
Manoj K Jayan BLAZING A DIFFERENT PATH
Blessed with thespian skills and a golden voice, Manoj K Jayan is one of the rare actors in Mollywood who charts new territory by taking versatility to new heights and breathing life into the broad spectrum of characters he has essayed so far. In a tete a tete with Cochin Herald, he opens up about his celluloid journey, unforgettable moments and areas of interest
I Love India
"കിലോമിറ്റേഴ്സ് ആൻഡ് കിലോമീറ്റേഴ്സ് എന്ന സിനിമയിലൂടെ മനം കവർന്ന അമേരിക്കൻ താരം ഇന്ത്യ ജാർവിസ് സംസാരിക്കുന്നു
SOPHIE DELEZIO: ‘I INSTANTLY FELL IN LOVE'
Sophie Delezio and Molly Wood, also 2, were trapped under the burning vehicle until firefighters were able to free the tiny pair, who were then rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries.