As people from Tamil Nadu continue to pay tributes to late chief minister J Jayalalithaa by garlanding her portraits and tonsuring their heads, a sculptor from a coastal Andhra district showed his reverence by making a wax statue of the departed leader in less than eight hours after her death.
D Rajkumar Vudayar, who runs a fine arts institute in Kothapet village near Amalapuram in East Godavari district, was an ardent follower of Amma.
“She was a towering personality in Tamil Nadu and was like a mother for the people of Tamil Nadu. I made several statues of her mentor MG Ramachandran in different parts of Tamil Nadu and she appreciated my work. I thought the only way I could pay my tribute to her was to make her statue as quickly as possible,” Vudayar told Hindustan Times.
Incidentally, it was the first-ever statue of Amma made after her death.
Vudayar said he was engaged by Dr MGR Educational and Research Institute, Chennai, to make a life-size statue of MGR to be installed in its campus.
“As I was giving finishing touches to the MGR statue, I came to know about Amma’s death. I quickly started making a three-feet bust-size statue of her with wax and finished it by Tuesday morning,” he said.
Like Jayalalithaa, who originally hailed from Mysore, Vudayar also has his roots in this part of Karnataka. “My ancestors were from Mysore, but my father migrated to East Godavari and settled in Kothapet village,” he said.
Vudayar sent Jayalalithaa’s statue along with that of MGR to the Chennai institute on Thursday.
“The institute’s chairman, AC Shanmugham, liked the statue very much and placed an order to make two life-size bronze statues of Jayalalithaa. He asked me to deliver them before her next birth anniversary on February 24,” the artist said.
The sculptor has made statues of several prominent personalities including that of NT Rama Rao, YS Rajasekhar Reddy, PV Narasimha Rao and APJ Abdul Kalam.