‘Unrelenting Torment’, Says Gautami Distancing Herself From Kamal
Gautami wrote that she was not paid in full for her work as a costume designer in films produced by Kamal Haasan.
In a blog post that comes shortly after the launch of Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam, his former partner Gautami has denied any personal or professional relationship with him, following their split.
This after AIADMK members alleged that the duo still had businesses together and questioned the funding.
However in her blog Gautami talks about the ‘lack of respect’ and ‘unrelenting torment’ in her 13-year-old-long relationship with Kamal, and about how he has not paid her for the professional services she rendered for his films.
The two Kollywood stars had ended their relationship in October 2016, amidst several rumours about their relationship. In her recent blog post, the actor and cancer survivor has restrained herself from highlighting the exact form of torment she faced. She however says that the breakdown of the relationship was because of Kamal's change in commitment and her inability to ‘accept that compromise and destroy her self-respect’.
“I had taken the decision to walk out and make my own life because it had become painfully clear to me over a time period even prior to October 2016 that our personal code of conduct and commitment had become completely divergent. In my commitment to our relationship, I had believed that we shared the values and ideals that I have held dear all my life. Mutual respect, love, commitment and honesty are indispensable in any relationship and especially in sharing a life. And when these are absent, everyday life becomes an unrelenting torment with a shattered self-respect,” says Gautami.
She further dispels rumours about Kamal's daughter Shruti being responsible for the break-up. Gautami describes both Shruti and her sister Akshara as wonderful ladies.
“So much has been said about her supposed differences with me that led to this breakup but that is not true. No third person, especially children, can ever be responsible for the state of a personal relationship between adults. Both Shruti and Akshara are wonderful young ladies who I knew as children and I continue to look upon them as such till today. Neither of them have any responsibility for the breakdown of the relationship. That rests entirely on Mr. Haasan’s change in commitment and my inability to accept that compromise and destroy my self-respect,” she explains.
Gautami further alleges that since she has walked of the relationship she is attempting a rebuild a stable and 'secure environment' for her daughter and herself. She says that Kamal had created an extremely tense and stressful environment for her and describes it as 'traumatic'.
Kamal allegedly even failed to pay her the money he owed her for professional services.
“During the nearly thirteen years of our life together, the work that I did as Costume Designer, was only for films produced by Raajkamal Films International, (RKFI), and for films that Mr. Haasan made for other producers. And this was my primary source of income as my working both in front of and behind the camera in other’s projects was actively discouraged. In addition to this, it grieves me greatly to have to say that as of October, 2016, I had salary dues pending right from earlier films like Dasavataram, Vishwaroopam, etc,” says Gautami.
“As these pending salary dues were the only financial resource at the time for rebuilding my life, I had made repeated efforts to recover the payments from Mr. Haasan and RKFI. I am deeply anguished to say that inspite of repeated entreaties and requests, there is still a significant amount from my due salary pending payment,” she adds.
In addition to this, she was also engaged by him as Director of a web portal for literary content dissemination. Despite work being put into the project, it failed to see the light of the day and remuneration she was due allegedly never came.
Gautami says that she was forced to speak of this 'pain' now, as there were reports of her still being involved with the MNM founder.
"This letter is from my heart, sharing the pain that I have carried alone all these days," she says. "I would rather fight an honorable battle for survival alone than continue to exist with the heartache of compromising my self-respect in a relationship where my love and commitment is not respected and reciprocated. I have maintained a dignified silence through the past seventeen months on these matters and more, as I have always tried to look ahead with a positive and progressive attitude though this has been extremely difficult during some periods that I have had to face," she adds.
Gautami's blog post comes just as Kamal’s own statements on violence against women is being criticised.
When questioned about women facing violence, the actor had claimed that he was the solution. He followed this up with a problematic statement, “It is not enough if you just talk about love and bravery. You have to think about your elder sister, your mother. Have to think about the younger sister you have to get married. You have to think about your daughter. If you think about all this and your heart melts, there will be no crimes against women. You can’t see everybody as your lover. Not everyone can be the girl of your dreams. So, you have to think about your mother and sister. You also need a lover, I am not saying you don’t. But you have to give her equal space. Haven’t you heard that the god you pray to give half of himself? Give space like that.”
From rightly identifying that the problem was with men, Kamal went to elevating himself (and other men) to the position of women's 'saviours'.
(This article was first published on The News Minute and has been republished with permission.)
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