As Vaiko took oath as a member of the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, a humble fan of his – a woman tea vendor of Peravurani in Thanjavur district celebrated the occasion by selling tea to her customers at just a rupee for a cup. V Muthulaxmi, 46, a resident of Veeriyankottai village, has been running a tea shop at her house after her husband A Vallaichami’s demise two years ago.
She said she decided to sell tea and coffee for a rupee instead of the actual price of Rs 5 for 12 hours to celebrate ‘Thalaivar’s return to parliament after 15 years . “My husband was an ardent follower of Vaiko and was deputy union secretary of MDMK in Sethubavachathiram for years. He had never missed Thalaivar’s meetings and conferences in Thanjavur and surrounding districts.
Despite the poverty in our family, he spent as much he could for organizing meetings. If my husband had been alive, he would have celebrated the day in a big manner,” says Muthulaxmi. Vallaichami’s affection for the MDMK supremo and his principles was such that he named his sons after LTTE leaders Prabakaran and Balasingam, she said referring to Vaiko’s staunch support of the banned outfit and its leaders.
“Since Vaiko is known for his oratory skills, as cadres we are jubilant that our leader will shake parliament with his speeches,” said the elder son V Prabhakaran. A diploma holder, he assists his mother at the tea shop while V Balasingam, the younger son, is an electrician. Every day they buy 10 litres of milk for Rs 55 a litre and sell a minimum of 300 cups of tea.