Google on Thursday celebrated the life of Malayalam author Kamala Das with a doodle. The day marks the publication of her autobiography – “My Story” – published on February 1, 1976, which remains her most celebrated work.
About Kamala Das
Kamala was born in Punnayurkulam, Thrissur District in Kerala, on 31 March 1934 to VM Nair, the former managing editor of Mathrubhoomi, and Nalapat Balamani Amma, a renowned Malayali poet.
She had many names in her life. When she began publishing, she used the pseudonym Madhavikutty, Aami was her pet name, and she adopted the name Kamala Suraiyya on her conversion to Islam.
First published in Malayalam as Ente Katha on February 1, 1973, the autobiography was admired as much as it was controversial as it was about a woman in the 1970s writing about her sexual desires, abuse and extramarital affairs.
Written like a novel, it follows Das’ life from missionary schools in Kolkata, an abusive marriage, her extramarital affairs, her children and finally to how she became a writer.
Ente Katha was also serialised in a weekly literary magazine called Malayalanadu. Its content had some of Das’ own relatives trying to block the book from being published. Das later admitted that some sections of the book were fictionalised.
Das, who died in May 2009, has been immortalised not only by My Story, but also by the several other novels and poems she wrote that were honest, bold and passionate.