Hon’ CM Selvi Dr. J. Jayalalithaa through the eyes of our team
Our Late Chief Minister Selvi Dr. J. Jayalalithaa, who met with an untimely death on Monday, December 5 has left a lasting impression on many of us. She will be remembered as a visionary leader, supporter of the masses and a bold, charismatic politician who rose to power under exceptionally challenging circumstances. However, for the team at Rajan Dental, an establishment that she patronized from 1975 up until 2015, she will be remembered as an affable, intelligent and witty individual with a magnetic persona.
Today, we had a condolence meeting for all our staff to honor and cherish the moments that we spent with her. Dr. Gunaseelan Rajan, our Medical Director narrated a few specific moments from their interactions together. He was particularly pleased with two of his representations to her that were immediately translated into action benefitting the state. One was his request to ban Areca nut products such as Gutka in 2001 following extensive research carried out by him back then. The second was in a strongly worded letter to the UPA-led Central Government in 2011 to overturn NCHRH and NCHER which had been tabled in parliament and would have completely neglected the state government’s role in manpower planning. “Her immediate grasp of technical aspects of presentations was astonishing!” remarked Dr. Gunaseelan.
Two of our dental chair-side assistants (dental nurses) Rajeshwari, Mangalam and Manimala fondly cherish how polite and friendly she was even to them. As working middle-aged women, they drew a huge amount of inspiration from her. After each treatment sitting, she would graciously thank them and leave the chair with a reassuring ‘Varen Ma’ which means ‘goodbye’ but literally translates to ‘I will return to see you’.
Dr. Archana Narayanaswamy (daughter of Dr. B. P. Rajan) praised her for her punctuality “In the last 40 years, she did cancel appointments from time to time owing to her commitments regarding affairs of the state but she never, not once, came late for an appointment!” Dr. Krithika Datta, our endodontist recalled how informal and casual our Chief Minister was during their chair-side interactions. This was in stark contrast to her expectations of the ‘strict and frozen attitude’ that she was known to exhibit publicly.
Mr. R. Govindarazan, our Operations manager fondly recalled the aura and power that her mere presence radiated and listed specific instances of our founder Dr. B. P. Rajan’s interactions with her. He spoke of her sharp eye for detail as she once observed the ‘Changing Rose’ flower on our premises from a distance and immediately recognized it. Our newly appointed CEO Mr. T. K. Karunanidhi lamented that he was unfortunate to have joined us too late to be introduced as the namesake of her arch political rival.
Dr. Gunaseelan and Dr. Archana who paid their last respects the day before, reflected that she looked calm and peaceful in her final resting moments. It flooded his mind with memories of their chairside interaction on the day before the 2011 state election results were announced. “She eluded a calm confidence but could not conceal her determination to improve conditions for people of our state. She went on to win with an overwhelming majority in what would become her defining Chief Ministerial term.” he recalled.
The enormous, peaceful sendoff fit for a queen was something she had earned through her lifetime’s dedication and commitment to the people of her state. Irrespective of the external political scenario, the Honorable Chief Minister Selvi Dr. J. Jayalalithaa will always live on in the hearts of our team for her elegance, her compassion and her witty remarks.