Former Tamil Nadu CM and AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa had led a highly insulated life until her death in December 2016. There were hardly any outsiders who had access to her imposing Veda Nilayam bungalow in Poes Garden, Chennai.
Only once when the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption had raided her bungalow in 1996 did uninvited guests walk into the ground plus 2-storey bungalow. However, now with the Tamil Nadu Government notifying it would take over the bungalow to convert it into a memorial, once again people have got to hear about what was found in the house.
According to a Government notification, 14 gold items weighing 4.372 kilograms and 867 silver items weighing 601.424 kgs are part of the inventory in south Indian film heroine-turned-politician’s house. Add to this 162 small silver utensils.
Jayalalithaa was a bookworm and therefore it is no wonder that a collection of 8,376 books have been recovered from her house. Veda Nilayam also had 11 TV sets, 10 refrigerators, 38 air-conditioners, 556 furniture, 5,514 kitchen utensils, 12 kitchen racks, 1,055 cutlery items and 15 puja utensils.
As for clothes, footwear, bed spreads, curtains and the like, the inventory runs to a mind-boggling 10,438 items. There were 29 landline and mobiles in the house, 394 mementos, 221 kitchen electrical items, 251 kitchen accessories, 65 suit cases, 108 cosmetic items, 253 stationary items, 1,712 furnishing accessories, 653 court, IT and related documents and 6 clocks. The inventory team also found a Canon xerox machine, a Laser printer and 959 miscellaneous items.
The bungalow also has two mango trees, a jackfruit, five coconut and five banana trees.
If the Government's plan to convert it into a memorial fructifies, then the common man would get to see these items of the former czarina as well. But with Jayalalithaa's niece and nephew -- Deepa and Deepak -- both declared as her legal heirs by the Madras High Court, opposing the move to convert the property into a memorial, the last word has not yet been said.