The month of December saw the death of two very important people of the public domain. What surprised me was my reaction to them – as it was not what I had expected.
My teenage years were filled with a lot of music. My Panasonic two in one was my most trusted companion after books, and music would be blaring out of its twin speakers for most part of my free time. And my most favourite album was – Ladies and Gentlemen: the best of George Michael. I must have listened to it day in and day out, over and over again. His voice mesmerized me. His amazing voice range could coo ballads, and sing in angst (without it sounding like screaming). His song Freedom 90, was my anthem growing up, my sing out aloud song, my i-dont-care-a-damn song. Yeah, yeah, I knew all about his controversial life stories, but I admired him only for his music and nothing else.
When I heard of his demise on Christmas, I was surprised. Surprised that I did not feel sad or feel any sense of lose. I was surprised that I was indifferent to the news, despite his music having been such an important part of my life. The only explanation I can think of is, like I said before, I only loved his music and that transcends mortal days.
I had received a forward in December –
*சென்ற வருடம் டிசம்பர் 5 தண்ணீரில் மிதந்தது சென்னை. இந்த வருடம் அதே நாளில் கண்ணீரில் மிதக்கிரது*.
This forward resonated with me, because even I was wallowing in tears on hearing about the CMs death. Now this surprised me, because she had not been a part of my life, she had in no way any bearing on anything I do, I have never even given a thought about her. All that I knew of her was all the things that’s portrayed in the media and movies. And they were never in a good light. Even our Superstar also has made many references about her which has never been complimentary, and having had no knowledge about politics, I assumed that that was the only dimension to her personality. Around the time when the news of her death seemed imminent, I started looking at YouTube videos and stumbled upon this “Rendezvous by Simi Garewal”. For the first time in my life, I heard a different version of her life. For the first time, I came to know about her early struggles, her political struggles, the ruckus in the parliament which changed her. This last one horrified me – I mean how come when movies and media never had any qualms in criticising her, no one has ever once alluded to this mistreatment of a woman in the Assembly? Why has no one ever praised her for having overcome so much, especially the patriarch political system to be the CM? It was from here, that the pain started, the sense of having lost someone close started, the weeping started. The enormity of what she has achieved and the realisation that nowhere in the horizon is someone as towering as she was, started sinking in. And this emotion was echoed by many women, even those who did not belong to TN. This deep emotion that I felt on the news of her demise, not just surprised me, but shocked me and probably even changed me. Thank you, My lady, for everything you have done and may you rest in peace, atlast….