For two generations people cannot fathom the image of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi without his trademark dark glasses, which was later popularised by his friend-turned-foe late M G Ramachandran (MGR) as well. From now on, many have to get used to seeing Karunanidhi in an optical frame that no longer covers his eyes, if the ageing leader gives a public darshan.
The 94-year-old political warhorse has been confined to his house for nearly a year because of age-related issues. And on Saturday on the advice of doctors, he changed his spectacles, which now has a see-through lens and a lighter frame.
In his younger days, Karunanidhi wore ordinary glasses, but in 1971, he changed to dark shades which after American ophthalmologists prescribed for his persistent pain on his left eye — one which has plagued him since the mid-1950s. Only those who are in close contact with him have seen the DMK stalwart without the sun shades.
Recently, doctors found that the dark glass frames were too heavy for him and recommended a lighter frame. After a hunt, a city-based company Vijaya Opticals, a household name in this part of the country, managed to get an imported frame which now sits on his nose perfectly.