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Summary of An Introduction by Kamala Das.

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Summary of An Introduction by Kamala Das.

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  • Jan. 2014
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“An Introduction” is perhaps the most famous of the poems written by Kamala Das in a self-reflective and confessional tone from her maiden publication Summer in Calcutta(1965). The poem is a strong remark on Patriarchal Society prevalent today and brings to light the miseries, bondage, pain suffered by the fairer sex in such times. The poet says that she is not interested in politics but claims that she can name all the people who have been in power right from the time of Nehru. By saying that she can repeat them as fluently as days of week, or names of the month, she indirectly states the fact that politics in the country is a game of few chosen elite who ironically rule a democracy. The fact that she remembers them so well depicts that these people have been in power for repetitive cycles. Next, she describes herself saying that she is an Indian, born in Malabar and very brown in colour. She speaks in three languages, writes in two and dreams in one, articulating the thought that Dreams have their own universal language. Kamala Das echoes that the medium of writing is not as significant as is the comfort level that one requires. People asked her not to write in English since isn’t her mother tongue. Moreover, the fact that English was a colonial language prevalent as medium of communication during British times drew even more criticism every time she had an encounter with a critic, friends, or visiting cousins. She emphasizes that the language she speaks becomes her own, all its imperfections and queerness become her own. It is half-English, half-Hindi, which seems rather amusing but the point is that it is honest. Its imperfections only make it more human, rendering it close to what we call Naturality. It is the language of her expression and emotion as it voices her joys, sorrows and hopes. It is as integral to her as cawing is to the crows and roaring to the lions. Though imperfect, It is not a deaf, blind speech like that of trees in storm or the clouds...

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