While Tata’s fought an internal battle, Ambani’s infiltrated into every segment of Indian’s life and demonetization arrested the economy of the entire country, a formidable misery overtook Tamil Nadu. It grounded the state to a halt. It numbed its citizens as tears welled their eyes at the break of dawn. Its tall and fearless leader lay under a gold and glass casket draped in her favourite green, eyes closed without the trademark benevolent smile. She rested under the burden of her party flag the functioning of which she had overseen with single handed authority over a crore cadres and seven crore people of the state. The onus proceeded to her bearing the tricoloured national flag on her mortal remains, the one she had on several occasions hoisted and let it flap up in the mast fluttering against the wind. She lay oblivious of the lakhs of people streaming down the aisles appalled to have their first or last glimpse of her, still and unresponsive, neither lifting her two hands nor her two fingers in symbolic gestures of gratitude or her party sign/victory. The ones she had banished stood rooted around her – she may also have felt claustrophobic by their presence and the cool air they blocked from tall air conditioners that followed her to all public events.
She decided to call it off finally after waging a lonely, onerous and tempestuous battle all her life. The baton was passed on since the break of her adolescence and taken only with the lowering of her sandal coffin under the earth.
Personal desire, betrayal and unsurpassed professional success seemed her lifelong companions. While she rode high waves strong undercurrents worked its way to keep her down. She broke barriers, crossed hurdles and transcended boundaries yet stayed within her fort. She was imputed for the misdeeds and celebrated for her resilience. She hit the bull’s eye in her scheme of affairs but was on many occasions led astray. As the exterior fort strengthened her internal fort crumbled. She enabled people to see light at the end of the tunnel, but did not miss out on showing them how crude darkness can be. Her intentions were intact but some of her strategies backfired. Despite her sharp intelligence she failed to recognise repetitive patterns that saw her to the end. At every juncture she was beneficial to another’s cause while her own lay in stalemate.
Dignified, deep, unwavering and astounding, she never had the final say even in the last lap. She was made to rest beside the man she must have despised in the bosom of her heart, surrounded by people she had lost trust in and through practices she would have defied and abhorred. She had not had her say on the latest national catastrophe that had struck her people, she would have definitely fought their case. But an unfaltering wave of love and respect outpoured from the millions of hearts she seemed to have struck a chord with, despite being isolated and stigmatized as inaccessible, she had reached. She never could be at the receiving end, for when she did, she was taken to nether land. Then came the cyclone that had waited till her death threatening for a month but dared not to venture until the strongest one had passed on, to wreak its havoc on already injured souls and to revive them back to life.