When Kalaignar M Karunanidhi bid adieu to his black glasses after 46 years

Ironically, it was a medical recommendation that made Karunanidhi start wearing glasses following an accident in the late 1960s that damaged his left eye.

Published: 07th August 2018 08:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th August 2018 08:47 PM   |  A+A-

A view of the graffiti of DMK leader M Karunanidhi . | EPS

A man walks near a graffiti of M Karunanidhi in Chennai.( File photo | EPS)

By Online Desk

It took them 40 days to find him the right replacement... Too long perhaps for a regular spectacle, but when it has been a cult symbol that kept a political thought and lineage going almost for half a century, the span wouldn't seem unreasonable.

READ | M Karunanidhi's agitations and stance against various issues

While a white-cap, dark glasses and watch created a typical image for his friend-turned-rival MGR, Karunanidhi adopted a similar glass along with a yellow shawl to formulate the 'Kalaignar swag' - his signature fashion that remained unchanged till late November 2017. It is the same legacy that made his switching to the light amber-brownish pair from the deep black one news for not just Tamil dailies but for almost all leading media houses of South. The news was announced through his official Twitter handle as well.

The veteran finally had to replace his darker glasses with lighter ones following advice from his doctors, who considered the frames of his favourite accessory unnecessarily heavy for the 94-year-old.

Ironically, it was a medical recommendation that made Karunanidhi start wearing them following an accident in the late 1960s that damaged his left eye. A medical panel suggested a pair of glasses for the Dravidian leader to protect his eyes from exposure to sunlight. 

READ | Here's why M Karunanidhi named his son Stalin

The new pair was the feather-weight model, German imported by Chennai-based Vijaya Opticals, who had shared with media the difficulties his team had to go through since a piece matching the former Chief Minister's requirements were not available anywhere in the country back then.

"After searching for a suitable pair across the country for 40 days, we sourced a new lightweight frame from abroad. It has prescription tinted glasses in amber brown. He felt very comfortable wearing them; he smiled to acknowledge as much," the optical house said in a statement.

The new glasses were supposed to be more comfortable for in-house use, as Kalaignar had embraced retirement life almost completely by that time. 


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