Who “Amma” was to me



I am an apolitical person who wants to voice a few personal thoughts about a leader who indeed had one of the greatest commands in Indian politics. Please read the following keeping aside the “chinnamma” or “OPS” factors.

The practice of converting all your thoughts into a piece of writing has its own share of advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that during this process, your thoughts get streamlined and the required clarity is attained. The disadvantage is that not always can you convert all your thoughts into words. In this article I feel the disadvantage more than the advantage.

This piece is dedicated to my role model Dr J Jayalalithaa. If you ask me if it's purely a tribute article… well, no.

I have three distinct things (which cannot be part of the same article) to discuss;

  1. How Indians accept a cinematic personality as their leader
  2. The exciting similarities between us
  3. The significance of 5-12-2016

How Indians accept a cinematic personality as their leader.


Since my childhood, I was astonished by the way my grandparents and parents looked up at ex Chief Minister, MGR. My memory of spotting a big picture of MGR in my grandmother’s place in Tamil Nadu remains fresh in my mind. I failed to understand that love and affection they had towards him; maybe because I have not directly (as a citizen) experienced his rule. Beyond everything, I was astonished by the fact that a film star could turn into a demigod for the people to an extent where even years after his demise people remembered him for so many unique facets of his. Through few other friends I learnt that NTR too enjoyed a similar stature in Andhra Pradesh.

Later I noticed a similar love building towards Jayalalithaa who is fondly known as Amma. Thanks to my dad who regularly pointed out at the good things she was doing for the people of Tamil Nadu. As my dad closely followed Indian politics, he would analyse her internal strategies and political game plans and taught me all about it. That is when my astonishment slowly turned out to become an acceptance of the fact that she deserves to be called “amma”. A friend and I discussed how she is a modern depiction of “Ashta Lakshmi”. An epitome of beauty, intelligence,  valour, charity, humility, tranquility and so much more.



I would say 5-12-2016 has yet again proven the reputation of cinema in our country. The day marked the end of an important chapter in the history of Indian cinema and politics. I look at this as a testimony to prove how we, the people of India believe and trust cinematic personalities and how they in turn have lived up to our expectations.

The exciting similarities between us


As indicated before, my family has always been pro-AIADMK and they were excited to spot many natural similarities between Amma and me.

Her date of birth is 24-02-1948 and mine is 24-03-1994. Both of us share the same zodiac sign according to the Hindu Astrology (Simha raasi). She is usually referred to as a lioness that fearlessly came around in this misogynistic world. The confidence that these similarities gave me has made me a strong person with an abundance of conviction. Another funny reference of Amma in my life is when my best friend’s mother called us as the Jayalalithaa and Sasikala pair. Her existence in my life was so notable and her loss is a very personal one for me.

The significance of 5-12-2016


2016 did not end in a great way for a lot of us. With the difficulties we faced during demonetisation and then the unacceptable departing of our CM, Vardah cyclone and what not! In my case I had another incident that I had to overcome; that was the demise of my paati (granny).  Every family has an Iron lady who is a true inspiration and source of all the support the family needs. My maternal grandma was that personality in our lives and I lost her exactly 7 days before we lost our beloved CM. I see both their lives as an important lesson. Both of them have taught me how to live and most importantly how to gracefully and dignifiedly leave for your heavenly abode.

Today ( 24-02-2017) being Dr J Jayalalitha’s birth anniversary, I am reminiscing the direct and indirect memories I have had with these strong ladies!

Thank you “Amma” and Paati!

Wondering how well few people help us hone our life. My search for such inspiration continues…

Written by - D Meera Chithirappaavai
1 comment
Rekha Varadaraj February 24, 2017

Such personalities happen once in life time to learn what it takes to be a woman of power…badly miss both the Ammas…well written

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