Jayalalithaa Wrote Of Pining For Mother, Blowing Away Sivaji Ganesan

Jayalalithaa Wrote Of Pining For Mother, Blowing Away Sivaji Ganesan

Sivaji Ganesan, 12-year-old Jayalalithaa and her mother Sandhya at her arangetram

Chennai:  For someone who was fiercely private, not many know that J Jayalalithaa once wrote in detail to 'clarify the truth of her life.'

"I never thought of writing about my life events, but in the last 2-and-a-half years as I wasn't as visible in the public view, I started to hear a lot of rumors about me and felt really sad. So I thought it was the right time to clarify the truth about my life,"  she wrote in a serialised memoir in the Tamil weekly - magazine, Kumudam.

The year was 1978, she was 30 years old, still a few years away from entering politics. Her film career was in a slump, movie offers had dried up. She was briefly estranged from her mentor and onscreen partner, MG Ramachandran.

After writing a few columns, she stopped, disclosing that it would compromise the privacy of people close to her, which led to speculation that MGR and she had reconciled.

Here, some excerpts from her writing:

"My house's name is Vedha Nilayam, it is named after my mother's name Vedha. She changed her name to Sandhya for the films later. My mother helped decide the carpets, curtains and everything else in the house but she never used it as she died before this house was built," she wrote in one of her earliest columns.

Jayalalithaa was a bright student, received best outgoing student award in 1964.

The house she is referring to is the palatial bungalow she owned in Poes Garden, Chennai. It was where she lived right till she was hospitalized in September. After she died on Monday, it was where her body was brought for the night before being moved to a public hall for viewing.

Jayalalithaa lived away from her mother from when she was 6 to the age of 10. While Sandhya was in Chennai earning a living as an actress, Jayalalithaa lived with her maternal grandparents in Bangalore. Sandhya would visit her on breaks from shooting.

Jayalalithaa described her longing:  "When I slept with my mother as a kid, I would tie her saree around my hand. I would have the saree clutched in my wrist. My mother, without disturbing me, would take out her saree, replace it with another saree and leave. My mother would tell my aunt to wear the saree and lie next to me."

Jayalalithaa and her mother, Sandhya

Quality time with Sandhya on her rushed visits was rare. On one occasion, Jayalalithaa stayed up three nights in a row for a chance  to tell her mother about an essay she had written at school. "The fourth day I decided that I have to meet my mother. In spite of everyone asking me to sleep, I slept in the drawing room. At 12:30 at night, after everybody had slept, mom came. When mother saw me she was surprised, woke me and said, 'Why you are sleeping here?' I told her I was up to see her and began to cry.

"She hugged me tightly and gave me a kiss. I kept my composition notebook next to me. I showed her, 'See I got first prize in the essay competition.'"

The essay was titled "What mummy means to me."

J Jayalalithaa once wrote in detail to 'clarify the truth of her life.'

Jayalalithaa was a skilled Bharat Natyam dancer. She had her arangetram (on-stage debut) in May 1960 when she was 12.  Personalities from the film industry came for the performance. Shivaji Ganesan, mega-star, was the guest of honour.

Jayalalithaa recalled, "When Shivaji gave the speech, he said 'this girl is really beautiful like a golden idol, and one day in the future she will come into the film industry and will get a great welcome. I wish that for her.'"

"I'm certain he wouldn't have even dreamt that in some years, I would work alongside him as a heroine," she wrote.

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