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Jayalalithaa, a mystery unanswered

Somehow, I am not in agreement with addressing J Jayalalithaa with a prefix ‘late’. It is a little difficult and I guess it will take some time. It is not that I knew her personally or had interacted with her. She does not even feature in the core circle of  my life. But why is that I feel upset about her demise?

My first memory of her in a film is the ‘Chittukurivikenna Kattuppadu’ number from Savalae Samali and I felt her costume was quite chic for that period. Even now, when I see her films, the first thought that comes to me, beyond whatever character she essays, is her confidence. She was so sure of herself that I wonder if someone can be THAT certain or is it some kind of a façade?

What was the real Jayalalithaa like? It is said that she was forced into films and politics by her mom and MGR respectively. If that was the truth, how did she brace herself? Was she fond of anything or anyone? What was her Achilles Heel? Did she have true friends? What made her happy? What made her tick?

In one of her interviews, she had apparently mentioned, “I like this life, where I have the liberty to take my decisions, where I don’t have to explain my choices. I like the freedom of not having to live to make others happy”. To me, this is true FREEDOM or LIBERATION.

I think the closest that she came to opening herself was in Simi’s Rendezvous which is doing its rounds now. She appeared a normal woman willing to let go of herself freely. I love the portion where she was shy to sing initially ("I'm out of practice"), but slowly yielded to Simi. It’s a beautiful frame. She even discussed her crushes (Nari Contractor and Shammi Kapoor) and seemed so real, normal and one among us.

Barring a few anecdotes perhaps, she had come across as someone who would not let anyone pierce her wall and see her soul. This has elevated her to a zone which is far removed from normal people.

But many women have a special liking and respect towards her, especially those who undergo suppression, insult, loneliness in their everyday life. Perhaps they find solace and draw strength looking at her life and struggles. This in a way, makes her persona a relatable and a commendable one at that. 

On one hand, she is an enigma and a mystery to decode and on the other hand, she is an iconic figure to look up to. Probably, this mix explains her popularity? Whatever be the case, the mystery of what was the real Jayalalithaa like, has gone unanswered.


Rest in Peace Madam!


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