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Google celebrates Malayalam author Kamala Das; see doodle

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Google, Google doodle, Kamala das, Malayalam author, Madhavikutty, popular author, Kamala Das death anniversary

Thiruvananthapuram: Nine years after her death, popular author and poetess Kamala Das alias Madhavikutty continues to be in the news. Google on Thursday dedicated a Doodle to celebrate her life and work. The release of the Doodle coincided with the 42nd anniversary of the publication of her autobiography “My Story”, which was originally published in 1976. Also called “Enta Katha”, the book is often referred to as her first literary success after which she never looked back.

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.” The Doodle came a day after the High court issued a notice to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) on a writ petition seeking a ban on “Aami”, the biopic based on her “My Story”.

The film, directed by popular Malayalam director Kamal, stars actress Manju Warrier and is slated for release next week. The petition for the ban was filed by K.P. Ramachandran, an advocate by profession who pointed out that not only does the film justify love jihad but the director has played spoilsport by tinkering with real life facts of the poetess.


Born to V.M. Nair and Balamani Amma ib March 31, 1934, Kamala Das spent most of her childhood in Kolkata where her father worked. She was much influenced of her poetess mother and her great uncle Nalappatt Narayana Menon, a prominent writer. She started writing at the age of 17 under the pseudonym Madhavikutty.

 

She was married to Madhava Das, 15 years elder to her, and the couple had three sons. Her eldest son, M.D. Nalapat, is a journalist. Kamala’s first literary success came at age 42 with her autobiography “My Story”.

Her popular English works include “The Sirens” (Asian Poetry Prize winner), “Summer in Calcutta” (Kent’s Award winner), “Alphabet of Lust” (novel), “Padmavati the Harlot and Other Stories” (collection of short stories).

Her Malayalam works include “Pakshiyude Manam” (short stories), “Naricheerukal Parakkumbol” (short stories), “Thanuppu” (short story and Sahitya Academi award winner).

In 1999, she announced she was embracing Islam and changed her name to Kamala Surayya. In 2007, she decided to shift her base from Kerala to Pune and, after ailing for a while, died on May 31, 2009.