Jyothika, a widely acknowledged actress in the South Indian film industry who took a sabbatical (like most actresses) post marriage and motherhood, returned to movies in 2015 with Rosshan Andrrews’s 36 Vayadhiniley. The movie’s simple and relatable storyline was received well by Jyothika’s fans and the critics alike. The movie was about a middle-aged woman, who breaks free from her mundane life to rediscover the fearless, strong-willed woman she used to be.
While accepting an award at the JFW Awards from director Priyadarshan, Jyothika thanked her female fans for showering love on her and supporting her comeback. Jyothika also thanked her mother for raising her as a brave and headstrong woman and most importantly, as an equal individual.
Recalling her enriching journey which she started when she was 17, Jyothika revealed how her mother made it possible for her to come this far and face the world uninhibitedly. She said,
I believe that women empower women and my journey started at the age of 17. So, there are many women who are behind me. First, at the age of 17 was my mother. She’s a ferocious lady. One day she told me, ‘Jo, you have to stand here and face people, face the world.’ She told me, ‘I want money in your bank because if you haven’t met the right man, keep your head high and walk out of the relationship. It’s not worth it.’ Thank you to my Amma for teaching me self-worth and self-respect.
Not only her mother, Jyothika also heaped praises on her mother-in-law Lakshmi Sivakumar. She thanked her for raising her son Suriya like a prince and that she learned traditions and values from her. It was rumoured that Suriya’s parents- Lakshmi and Sivakumar were not happy with the match in the beginning because Jyothika was an actress. But the compassion with which Jyothika spoke about her mother-in-law proved all of it was just baseless.
While the entire speech was heart-warming and inspirational, the icing on the cake was the part where Jyothika thanked her daughter Diya. She said,
Her smile every morning is my empowerment. She is the one who makes me very proud and I promise this to all of you that 10-15 years henceforth, I will make sure she stands on this dais, receiving this award. You’re going to be strong, right, Diya?
You can watch the full speech here:
Jyothika, this was the best women empowerment speech we have heard in a while.
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