After losing her mentor, M G Ramachandran, J Jayalalithaa would have been politically at sea. But the charismatic former matinee star defeated MGR’s wife Janaki to take over the AIADMK. Excerpted from Vaasanthi’s book, “Amma: Jayalalithaa’s Journey from Movie Star to Political Queen.”
‘MGR is no more.’
It was a stunning blow to her. He had departed, leaving her in the lurch. In a daze she summoned the driver and rushed to Ramavaram Gardens, MGR’s residence, but when she reached there she was refused permission to enter the house. She got out of the car and banged on the door with her fists. When the door was opened at last no one would say where the body was. She ran up and down the front and back stairs several times but all the doors were firmly slammed on her face to prevent her from having a glimpse of the dead body of the man who was not only her mentor but with whom she had had such a close, emotional association.
Eventually she was told that his body had been taken away through the back door and driven to Rajaji Hall. She got into her car with her heart pounding and instructed the driver to race there. At Rajaji Hall she rushed to the body and firmly planted herself at the head. MGR lay supine, neatly dressed in his full-sleeved shirt, fur cap and dark glasses – his trademark attire.