Google said 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 on Thursday remembered legendary Malayalam and English writer, Kamala Das, who dared to write about women’s sexual lives and marital problems at a time when open discussion about such topics was socially prohibited.
In a blog post released on Thursday, Google mentioned that the doodle, created by artist Manjit Thapp, celebrates “the work she left behind, which provides a window into the world of an engrossing woman”.
The release of Google’s doodle to honour the writer, popularly known by her pseudonyms Madhavikutty and Ami, coincided with the anniversary of the release of her autobiography, ‘My Story’, which was originally published in 1976. Though considered controversial by a few, readers of My Story – in which Kamala Das shared her life from childhood till marriage and beyond – “were enchanted by the lyricism and honesty of her writing.
Born in a Hindu family in Thrissur district of Kerala on March 31, 1934, as Nalapat Kamala, Kamala was brought up in Kolkata and primarily started writing in English. Born in the family of literates, Das’s father had been the Managing Editor of Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi, her mother Balamani Amma was a renowned poet and her uncle Nalapat Narayana Menon was a famous Malayalam writer.
Known for her multilingual writing skills, Das’ Malayalam works feature English phrases, while her English stories have a flavour of Malayalam and Hindi.
“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 enthrall, and to reveal her world anew with each new reading,” the Hindu Friday Review mentioned about Kamala Das.
The popular feminist writer – who earned her the epithet ‘The Mother of Modern Indian English Poetry’ – was on news lately as a biopic on her, titled Aami raised controversies. And while the Kamal directorial is set to release soon, there has been petitions filed in the Kerala High Court. Stating that the movie justifies ‘love Jihad’, petitioners from Kerala sought for an ban on the movie and asked the court to direct the CBFC to not issue a certificate to the movie, which stars Malayalam actress Manju Warrier in a role which was earlier supposed to be played by Bollywood actress Vidya Balan.
And with extensive contribution to Indian poetry, Das was awarded the Sahitya Academy Awards in 1984. Kamala Das passed away at the age of 75 on May 31, 2009 – after days of suffering from acute diabetes and related illness.