Several old interviews and correspondence of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa have resurfaced once again in the light of her recent demise. The columns Jayalalithaa had written for the press and her handwritten letters reveal the unseen pieces of her enormous personality.
She wrote a string of columns for Tamil weekly magazine, Kumudam, in 1978 when her life came under intense media scrutiny due to several rumours. So she recounted a series of memories discussing her early childhood, relationship with her mother, her stardom among others.
In her writing, she had let her guard down, giving the readers a sneak peek at her childhood, which she mostly spent longing to meet her mother Vedha alias Sandhya, who was away working in Chennai.
Born in Mandya district of Karnataka in 1948, Jayalalithaa lost her father at a very young age. And for many years, she also lived away from her mother as she was in Bengaluru while Sandhya was trying to make a living by acting in films in Chennai.
She had recounted some of her childhood memories in the write-up, during her mother’s short visits to be with her. Jayalalithaa recalled that she used to tie the saree of her mother around her hand and sleep clutching it tightly to ensure her mother doesn’t leave her side when she was asleep. She had also shared this story of hers on the popular talk show Rendezvous with Simi Garewal, which was hosted by Simi Garewal.
Jayalalithaa had written that she named her house Vedha Nilayam, after her mother.
“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 column, according to a NDTV report.
Jayalalithaa had also discussed her meeting with legendary thespian, Sivaji Ganesan, who had witnessed her ‘Arangaetram’ or first Bharatanatyam dance performance in 1960. She recalled that when he gave the speech he praised her as “thangachilai” (golden statue) adding that she had a future in the film industry. She also wrote that Sivaji would not have dreamt that she will be sharing screen space with him in future.
Her columns also showed how she perceived men in her life. She had described her father as “squanderer and a gentleman of leisure, who could not handle anything properly.” She stopped writing after a few columns saying further disclosure would affect the lives of people close to her. At the time she began writing for the magazine, she had a brief fallout with her co-star and political mentor MG Ramachadran. However, her decision to discontinue the writing was touted to be the result of her breach with MGR being filled.