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Gloom and nostalgia descend over Karunanidhi’s native village

Villagers paid floral tributes at a portrait of the DMK patriarch at his house.

Karunanidhi was born on June 3, 1924 in the village and spent his childhood there.

Situated in the heart of the village, his ancestral house -- a modest blue and white structure -- now houses a statue of his mother and two libraries named after his parents -- 'Muthuvelar Noolagam' and 'Anjugam Padippagam'.

A huge collection of rare photographs of a young and vibrant Karunanidhi in various poses adorn the house now.

Karunanidhi received his primary education in the Panchayat Union Middle School at the village. He ordered setting up of a primary health care centre and an industrial training institute at the hamlet, besides upgrading the facilities at his alma mater.

When he served as the chief minister during 2006-11, Karunanidhi visited the village twice. His last visit to the village as chief minister was in 2009.

The name 'Karunanidhi' is the pride of this tiny village and in his passing away, its residents feel that they have lost their identity.

The 94-year-old leader, a five-time chief minister of Tamil Nadu, breathed his last at Kauvery Hospital in downtown Chennai at 6.10 pm Tuesday after waging a grim battle for life for 11 days.