Jayaram Subramaniam, a recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri award, is an accomplished percussionist and mimicry artist. He is a skilled Chenda player.His father belongs to a Kerala-settled Tamil Iyyer family, while his mother was from Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.He is the nephew of Malayalam writer and cartoonist Malayattoor Ramakrishnan.Jayaram considers filmamer Padmaranjan his guru. Jayaram Subramaniam – Instagram.Tamil actor Ajith and his wife Shalini are Jayaram’s family friends. Deccan Chronicle.Jayaram Subramaniam and his family are avid animal lovers. Deccan Chronicle.According to Jayaram, he is so obsessed with elephants since childhood that he used to collect pictures of elephants while his friends were busy collecting matchboxes, labels, and other things. Jayaram posing with an elephant – Image captured on the occassion of Vishu While recalling those childhood moments in an interview, Jayaram Subramaniam said, As a boy, when my classmates collected matchbox labels and stamps, I gathered nearly 400 pictures of elephants including paper clippings and black and white photos.” Deccan Chronicle.After completing his college studies, he worked as a medical agent.During the 1980s, he started working as a mimicry master and ‘Chenda’ (a musical instrument) player in Kalabhavan, Kerala.According to sources, he was helped by film director and writer Padmarajan to get a role in the film ‘Aparan’ (1988).