Monday, May 26, 2008

Empress Jaya’s makeover

IT’S NOT known if the event was a one off but my instincts tell me the imperious Jayalalithaa is shedding her magisterial self and doing a makeover with an eye on dividends in the not too distant future. There was atime when you only spotted her flashing by in her SUV, the Black Cats of the National Security Guards ensuring that no one came within astone’s throw. Suddenly, it’s adifferent Jayalalithaa that’s on view now, mixing with the hoi polloi —even dancing with them. Which is what she did last week in the Nilgiri Hills where she went to offer prayers at atemple in interior Kodanad and was received with honours befitting adeity. When the tribal Badaga women performed a local dance for her, she decided to join them and do ajig herself. More votes in the kitty, no doubt. Meanwhile, over at Annai Arivalayam, the headquarters of the DMK, the mood is truly sombre, made worse by patriarch M Karunanidhi’s decision not to celebrate his 85th birthday which falls on June 3. He attributed the decision to, among other things, the hold up on the Sethusamudram project and the betrayal by allies. Now Tamil Nadu is the kind of place where aleader’s birthday is celebrated with more pomp and grandeur than aroyal wedding, so the CM’s decision has sent party men into deep depression. DMK leaders and those from allies issued public appeals and what leader worth his salt can remain insensitive to the emotions of his subjects? He has now relented and the celebrations will be on. As he wrote in his weekly column: “Iwill take delight amidst my worries”. Don’t Worry, Be Happy. Happy Birthday Kalaignar!!!

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