Now, what comes as a shock and twist in the tragic car accident that had claimed the life of famous violinist Balabhaskar and his daughter, his wife Lakshmi has contradicted the claim of their driver Arjun.
What the first reports said
Balabhaskar, Lakshmi and their two-year-old daughter Tejaswini were traveling from Thrissur to Thiruvananthapuram by road when their car crashed into a tree late night. The accident took place on September 25 at Pallipuram, near Thiruvananthapuram. While Tejaswini passed away on the spot, Balabhaskar, Lakshmi and their driver Arjun were admitted to a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram.
Balabhaskar underwent surgeries in Ananthapuri hospital as he had head and spine injuries, multiple fractures on the leg and a dislocated neck. He passed away following a cardiac arrest on October 2, after a week-long battle for life.
Who drove the car
It was speculated that Balabhaskar was driving the car and driver Arjun was sitting next to him. Lakshmi was in the backseat holding daughter Tejaswini. As the accident happened, going by the pictures, it was evident that the driver's seat was badly hit and that was how Balabhaskar was seriously injured, concluded many.
What driver claimed
When Balu's wife Lakshmi was undergoing treatment at the Government Medical College Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram, Arjun had claimed that he had driven the car from Thrissur to Kollam, where they had stopped at a wayside juice shop. Arjun said that he had bought a juice from there and he sat on the rear seat from there on. But he could not recollect what happened afterwards.
Balabhaskar had then decided to drive for the rest of the journey, he had stated. The car had veered off the road at Pallippuram before ramming a tree.
What Lakshmi said
Recording her statement to the police, Lakshmi said Balabhaskar usually chose not to drive during long journeys, especially after performances. On the night of the accident, Balabhaskar was lying on the back seat during their journey from Thrissur. While Lakshmi sat on the passenger seat with their daughter on her lap, it was Arjun who was driving.
After Arjun was discharged from Thiruvananthapuram hospital, he was shifted and taken to a hospital at his native place near Mangalapuram for further treatment.
According to police, the juice shop at Kollam needs to be traced to corroborate what Arjun had said.
As the entire state was in a shock on hearing about the tragedy, there are a few questions that are lingering on everyone's mind. Is Arjun lying? Why should he lie at all? Was Lakshmi indeed sitting with her daughter in the passenger seat? Aren't there any CCTV cameras near the juice shop at Kollam to get more clarity on the matter? Won't there be a witness at the accident spot to reveal who was really behind the wheels at the time of the mishap? Aren't the on-site rescuers better placed to comment on the matter?
Balabhaskar's name is deeply engraved in the hearts of every Malayali. Over the years, they started calling him Balu, with utmost love and affection. While his death news is yet to sink in, the contradicting statements have become the talk of the town.