July 19 marks the 114th birth anniversary of Balamani Amma, who is also known as the grandmother of Malayalam poetry. Amma, known by that name to her admirers and fans, was born in Punnayurkulam in Thrissur district in 1909. Here are six facts from the life of the doyen of Malayalam poetry.
Received numerous awards
She received numorous accolades for her work in poetry. She was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the nation's second highest civilian award for her contribution to literature.
No formal education
Balamani Amma received no formal education or training as he never attended school or college. She was schooled at home by her uncle, named Nalappat Narayana Menon, who was also a poet.
Married to editor of Mathrubhumi
As was the norm those days, Balamani Amma got married early at the age of 19. She got married to VM Nair, who was the managing director and managing editor of Mathrubhumi. The Mathrubhumi is a famous and reputed newspaper in Malayalam. Kamala Das, who was nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature in 1984, is the daughter of Balamani Amma.
Published first work at the age of 21
Amma published her first work at the age of 21. It was a poem titled Kooppukai. She was an avid reader of mythology and her earlier works and poems spoke about the theme of motherhood- giving her the title of "poetess of motherhood."
Amma's work depicted strong woman characters. Her famous work includes Amma (1934), Muthassi (1962) and Mazhuvinte Katha (1966).
Google doodle tribute to a Amma in 2022
In the year 2022, Google Doodle pay tribute to Amma by dedicating a Google Doodle to her. Kerala based artist Devika Ramachandran made the illustration in a ruch tribute to the legendary writer.