It was on this day in 1976 that Kamala Das released her autobiography 'My Story'.

Google honours legendary poet and writer Kamala Dass My Story with doodle
news News Thursday, February 01, 2018 - 11:12

Kamala Das, one of India’s most celebrated poets who crafted a new definition of feminism through her literary work, was honoured by Google with a doodle on Thursday. She is also popularly known by her pseudonyms Madhavikutty and later Kamala Surayya, after she converted to Islam.

Born in Thrissur district in Kerala in 1934 to VM Nair, a former managing editor of Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi, and Nalapat Balamani Amma, a renowned Malayali poet, she rocked the world of Malayalam literature as a female writer who discussed women’s sexuality at a time when it was considered a taboo. Her maternal great uncle was the famous Malayalam writer Nalapat Narayana Menon.

The doodle, created by artist Manjit Thapp, “celebrates the work she left behind, which provides a window into the world of an engrossing woman,” Google said in a blog post.

The poet spent most of her childhood in Calcutta and began her writing in English. After she got married to a banker, Madhava Das, at the age of 15, she became Kamala Das. Kamala has written many short stories and poems on various women issues in Malayalam, English and Hindi. She later adopted the pen name Madhavikutty for her vernacular readers.

On Feb 1, 1976, Kamala Das released her autobiography My Story. Written originally in English, she translated it to Malayalam along the way. The book was an honest account of her life’s journey from childhood to adolescence and later marriage and her personal relationships. It was widely criticised but embraced at the same time by readers across the country. Many even wanted to shelf the autobiography.

Kamala converted to Islam at the age of 65 and faced heavy criticism for her decision. Kamala has also received many awards such as the Sahitya Akademi award, Asian World Prize, Kent Award and the Ezhuthachan Puraskaram.

Kamala Das bid adieu to the world on May 31, 2009 after suffering from acute diabetes, at the age of 75 in Pune, leaving behind her marvellous works. A biopic on her, titled Aami, is being filmed in Malayalam by director Kamal starring actor Manju Warrier. The picture is expected to hit the theatres soon.

 

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