Jayalalitha – What every mom can learn from her life


No other famous Indian death in the recent history has stirred up as much of public anguish as in Amma’s death. The common man’s outpouring of grief was spontaneous. Millions walked with her on her final journey. A heroine much vilified and much maligned, went to her final resting place, a HERO!

I was watching the rerun of Simi Garewal ’s interview with Jayalalitha. And what I write now, is based upon my takeaways from that inner-view, which one assumes was truthful.

Jaylalitha had to stay with her grandparents while her mother worked in a different city. Jaya ached for her mother. When her mother went back after visiting Jaya, it was torturous for the little girl. There were times when Jaya came back with scholastic awards but no one to share with. The eternal conundrum for the mother – Feeding  the hungry children – took precedence.

Soon Jaya blossomed into a beauty. Though academically brilliant, she had  to forego her scholarships and  become a heroine to see the family through debts.

Her mother, ever the towering personality, controlled her every move and dominated her life. At 23, when Jaya’s mother died, unable to fend for herself, Jaya contemplated suicide. As she confessed, she hadn’t been trained in the practical aspects of life by her mother Sandhya.

At the end of the interview, you were left with a nagging feeling that under that brusque demeanor, lies a little girl aching for love. What would have happened if that little girl found love?

Our childhood experiences often shape our outlook and destiny. Few emerge from life’s heft, unscathed and unscarred.

When we love our children too much, we end up smothering them.

If we love them too little, we end up scarring them.

If we give too much independence, we may spoil it for them.

But if we dominate them, as part of our protecting them, masked as parental love – we will definitely stunt their growth.

What a fine rope of parenting to walk!

These days, working moms are a norm. And my heart goes especially for them, the amount of stress they endure, to make things go seamlessly.

Practicalities of life entail that emotional decisions have to be discarded.

But hey, how can parenting be an unemotional ride?

But surely, we can at each step, evaluate our actions and their effects on our children and only do what is best for all!

To Sane Parenting! World’s toughest job

10 thoughts on “Jayalalitha – What every mom can learn from her life

  1. Well expressed. You’re right. We’ve to teach the kids the reality. It’s our duty to train them to tackle the society. Anything providing too much is bad – money, pampering, highly independent approach, etc will lead to arrogance and attitude externally and weak internally

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anupama….nice piece ….yes parenting is the toughest job on earth….and I must say that it should be a priority over all others inspite of everything.
    I must confess that am a mom with bits and pieces of my career strewn all around just so as to be a great mom first and foremost….no regrets whatsoever….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Being a mom is the best world in the world! And if one can bring up a child who knows how to survive, head held high, one is a good mom. If one brings up a child with the right values of respect for all things, one is a great mom. Beautifully expressed, AJ!

    Liked by 1 person

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