For 43-year-old Kanimozhi, her days in the 15 ft x10 ft solitary cell in India's most secured prison are spent mostly pining, and sometimes crying for her son or reading newspapers and writing, jail sources said.
Her ever-present smile has also disappeared with time, especially after the Supreme Court rejected her bail plea. These days the Rajya Sabha MP looks pale, sad and in despair, the sources told IANS, speaking strictly on condition they were not identified. She also cries a lot.
Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar, managing director of Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd, a DMK-run television channel, were named by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as co-conspirators in the 2G spectrum scam. Kanimozhi, daughter of DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, has been in jail since May 20.
"She is finding it difficult (being confined to her cell). For the first one week she looked fine, but after her three bail pleas were rejected, she was clearly upset. We see her crying now and then," one source said.
Kanimozhi's first bail plea was rejected by the special CBI court May 20 and then by the Delhi High Court June 8 and by the Supreme Court June 20.
Unlike her party colleague and former cabinet minister A. Raja - also an accused in the 2G scam - Kanimozhi, a Tamil poet, keeps to herself. While Raja seems to have reconciled to his fate, she is unable to come to terms with the turn her life has taken.
Restricted to the solitary cell in Jail No Six, Ward Number Eight of Tihar, Kanimozhi spends most of her time writing something or the other and reads English and Tamil literary works, the jail official said.
After her application for papers and pen before the special 2G court was granted May 26, she is seen writing frequently. "We are not sure whether she writes poetry or random thoughts," other sources told IANS.
"After she returns from the court, we usually see her busy writing," they added.
With the court on vacation, Kanimozhi is finding it difficult to spend her time. She is also worried that she is unable to meet her 10-year-old son Aditya and her mother Rajathi Ammal.
During court hearings, Kanimozhi would be seen interacting with her son and mother exclusively. On occasions, she was seen hugging Aditya or making him sit on her lap.
Jail sources said apart from writing and reading, she watches television in her cell, which has a cable connection and shows 28 channels.
"If you ask what upsets her most it is her separation from her son. She talks little but whenever she talks it is mostly about her son," the source said.
Meanwhile, after meeting Kanimozhi in Tihar Jail June 23, the DMK chief told reporters in Chennai that his daughter is spending her days in "inhumane conditions" and was in poor health. This was his second meeting inside the jail.
"Due to the harsh Delhi heat, she has developed boils all over the body," Karunanidhi said, adding that she is unable to bear the Delhi heat.
He said Sharad Kumar was also in a bad shape.
But Tihar Jail law officer and spokesperson Sunil Gupta countered this. "Tihar Jail has been appreciated by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and by the Delhi High Court for our maintenance, and among the many jails in the country we are in the forefront in fulfilling the basic needs of the jail inmates."
Gupta also said that if any jail inmate is not feeling well, he or she could use the dispensary inside the jail premises.
"We have our own team of doctors; if she is unwell the doctors can go up to her ward and treat her or she can go to the dispensary herself. No special permission is needed. Any inmate can inform the jail superintendent concerned for any medical assistance," he said.
He also said that Kanimozhi is not engaged in any work inside the jail like candle-making as reported by the media.
"She is an undertrial and undertrials are not given any task to do. So she is not learning any trade in the jail," Gupta added.