Nostalgia in the Poems by Kamaladas

Topics: Kerala, India, Short story Pages: 10 (3364 words) Published: June 18, 2011
Kamala Surayya
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kamala Suraiyya (formerly known as Kamala Das)|
Born| March 31, 1934
Punnayurkulam, Malabar District, Madras Presidency, British India| Died| May 31, 2009 (aged 75)
Pune, Maharashtra, India|
Pen name| Madhavikkutty|
Occupation| Poet, short story writer|
Nationality| Indian|
Genres| Poetry, Short story|
Notable award(s)| Ezhuthachchan Puraskaram, Vayalar Award, Sahitya Akademi Award, Asan World Prize, Asian Poetry Prize, Kent Award| Spouse(s)| Madhava Das|
Kamala Suraiyya (b. Kamala Madhavikutty) (Malayalam കമലാ സുരയ്യ / മാധവിക്കുട്ടി) (31 March 1934 – 31 May 2009) was a major Indian English poet and literateur and at the same time a leading Malayalam author. Her popularity in Kerala is based chiefly on her short stories and autobiography, while her oeuvre in English, written under the name Kamala Das, is noted for the fiery poems and explicit autobiography. Her open and honest treatment of female sexuality, free from any sense of guilt, infused her writing with power, but also marked her as an iconoclast in her generation.[1] On 31 May 2009, aged 75, she died at a hospital in Pune[2], but has earned considerable respect in recent years. Contents[hide] * 1 Early life * 2 Literary Career * 3 Conversion to Islam * 4 Politics * 5 Personal life * 6 Awards and other recognitions * 7 Bibliography * 7.1 English * 7.2 Malayalam * 8 References * 9 External links * 10 See also| [edit] Early life

Kamala Das was born in Punnayurkulam, Thrissur District in Kerala, on March 31, 1934, to V. M. Nair, a former managing editor of the widely-circulated Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi, and Nalappatt Balamani Amma, a renowned Malayali poetess. She spent her childhood between Calcutta, where her father was employed as a senior officer in the Walford Transport Company that sold Bentley and Rolls Royce automobiles, and the Nalappatt ancestral home in Punnayurkulam. Like her mother, Kamala Das also excelled in writing. Her love of poetry began at an early age through the influence of her great uncle, Nalappatt Narayana Menon, a prominent writer. At age 15, she got married to bank officer Madhava Das, who encouraged her writing interests, and she started writing and publishing both in English and in Malayalam. Calcutta in the 1960s was a tumultous time for the arts, and Kamala Das was one of the many voices that came up and started appearing in cult anthologies along with a generation of Indian English poets[3]. [edit] Literary Career

Kamala wished to begin writing, her husband supported her decision to augment the family's income. She would often wait until nightfall after her family had gone to sleep and would write until morning: "There was only the kitchen table where I would cut vegetables, and after all the plates and things were cleared, I would sit there and start typing".[citation needed] This rigorous schedule took its toll upon her health. She was noted for her many Malayalam short stories as well as many poems written in English. Das was also a syndicated columnist. She once claimed that "poetry does not sell in this country [India]", but her forthright columns, which sounded off on everything from women's issues and child care to politics, were popular. Das' first book of poetry, Summer In Calcutta was a breath of fresh air in Indian English poetry. She wrote chiefly of love, its betrayal, and the consequent anguish. Ms. Das abandoned the certainties offered by an archaic, and somewhat sterile, aestheticism for an independence of mind and body at a time when Indian poets were still governed by "19th-century diction, sentiment and romanticised love."[4] Her second book of poetry, The descendants was even more explicit, urging women to: Gift him what makes you woman, the scent of

Long hair, the musk of sweat between the breasts,
The warm shock of menstrual blood, and all your
Endless female hungers ..." - The Looking...
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