Google Doodle honours the legacy of poet and author Kamala Das My Story’ with a doodle
Google India on Thursday released a Doodle to celebrate the life and work of poet and author Kamala Das.
The release of the Doodle coincided with the anniversary of the publication of her autobiography ‘My Story’, which was originally published in 1976.
‘My Story’, in which she described her life from childhood to marriage, and beyond, was considered controversial in some quarters. But Das’ readers “were enchanted by the lyricism and honesty of her writing.”
While Das originally wrote her autobiography in English, she translated it to Malayalam along the way.
Born on March 31, 1934, in Kerala’s Punnayurkulam, Das spent her childhood in Kolkata, where her father VM Nair was employed.
Her father was a former managing editor of Mathrubhoomi, while her mother Nalapat Balamani Amma was a renowned Malayali poet, reported ANI.
When Das first began publishing, she used the pseudonym Madhavikutty.
Kamala Das was born in a Hindu family in Thrissur district of Kerala on March 31, 1934, as Nalapat Kamala. Her father V.M. Nair had been the Managing Editor of Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi, while her mother Balamani Amma was a renowned poet. Her maternal great uncle was the famous Malayalam writer Nalapat Narayana Menon.
Kamala was brought up in Calcutta, where she began writing primarily in English. She was married to banker Madhava Das at the age of 15 and thus became Kamala Das. She wrote in Malayalam under the pen name Madhavikutty. Kamala is known for her multilingual writing. Her Malayalam works would feature English phrases, while her English stories will have a flavour of Malayalam and Hindi. Noted poet K. Satchidananan calls her writing as ‘interlingual.’ “I speak three languages, write in two, dream in one,” Kamala would say.
Kamala’s poetry and writings revolved around a myriad women’s issues, from sexuality to childbirth. Critics labelled her a feminist writer and the “the mother of modern English Indian poetry,” but she never accepted the former. Inspired by her real-life, Kamala wrote ‘My Story’ in English, and later ‘Ente Katha’ in Malayalam. Once believed to be her memoir, in ‘My Story’ Kamala got candid about her emotionally fragmented family, an unfulfilling marriage, sexual yearnings, suicidal thoughts and many more. ‘My Story’ was released this day in 1976, according to Google. She later dubbed both books as “work of fiction”.
She passed away on May 31, 2009. “Perhaps the greatest “work” of hers is the alter self whom she created, this mysterious and puzzling, ambiguous and sphinx-like “persona” that is Kamala Das, who emerges from her writings taking Protean forms – to fascinate and charm, to tease and torment, to hold and enthral, and to reveal her world anew with each new reading,” Devika Nair wrote in The Hindu Friday Review.
Google remarked on the “boldness” and “shapeshifting quality” of her work, noting that she was “determined to live life on her own terms.”Das’ extensive contribution to Indian poetry earned her the epithet ‘The Mother of Modern Indian English Poetry’. She was a recipient of the Sahitya Academy Award in 1984.
The Doodle by artist Manjit Thapp, Google said, “celebrates the work she left behind, which provides a window into the world of an engrossing woman.”]]>