Kamala Das(1934-2009) was an ambitious and prolific author that made her entry with a big BANG into the world of Literature. Her book My Story had to be translated into the English Version for a reason. Do you know why?
Well, the book was originally published in Malayalam, entitled Ente Katha. But lo! it evoked violent reactions and protests among the readers.It remains to date the ever best-selling woman’s autobiography in India.
Antithetical to what you believe, Ente Katha got serialised in 1972 in the now defunct weekly, Malayalanadu a literary magazine published by S.K. Nair. And the English Version was already written a couple of years before it was rendered to Malayalam. Wow! Make sense?
Sex is predominant in the mind of human beings. Throughout history, kingdoms are fought and raised to the ground for the realization of this longing. Lovers take the extreme steps even to the extent of committing suicide when this objective is put at a threat.
It is the ultimate goal for everyone to achieve it and bring it to a level of absolute consummation. An aspiration that everybody pursues no matter come what may. A person without this aim derails himself from the normal track of gratification and meaningful living.
Even animals like the cock flutters and swings around a hen for the fulfillment of sexual yearnings. It is an amazing phenomenon you and I cannot just do without – a human instinct! Holy Cow!
See the video below from Prof. Stephen Hawking on how he demonstrates on this instinct in the last part of the talk:
In the book, Kamala Das recounts the trials of her marriage and her painful self-awakening as a woman and wife. The entire account is written in the format of a novel.
The novel created not only literary vibes but also unusual wrath and untold angst for the first time in the writings of a woman in India. Her father along with close relatives wanted to stop the publication of the novel.
VBC Nair, the editor of Malayalanadu recalls,”Despite pressure from her influential relatives to stop the publication of the work, Kamala Das remained bold and it proved a roaring hit boosting the circulation of the weekly by 50,000 copies within a fortnight.”
Zooming into the trajectory and the nuances of her narrative, one finds that her writing titillates and has its leanings on seduction. Her messages are so powerful that one is made to listen to her open confession without moving from the focus at hand.
Look at how she arouses the reading public with an air of exotica as found in her poem, The Introduction:
When I asked for love, not knowing what else to ask
For, he drew a youth of sixteen into the
Bedroom and closed the door, He did not beat me
But my sad woman-body felt so beaten.
The weight of my breasts and womb crushed me.
(Summer in Calcutta, P. 59)
The expression above is superb and classic in tone. There are myriads of layers of meaning that can be interpreted found hidden in the context above. You may just muse what happens when a young senorita is found in a closed door room with a man earnest in amorous approaches.
Leave the stronger words aside and without going deeper, just pick up the phrase, closed door in which you find a great impact of sexual odyssey that wraps up our knuckles. What about the woman-body, the breasts and the womb crushing her?
Family Wanted a Ban of the Novel
Relatives thought it was a taboo to the modesty of the entire Nair family and that her work had to be stopped. They believed that it was a direct threat as well as an infringement to the age-old practices and bearings not only to the Nair Families alone but also to all Indian women and their respective families. Such exposition of sexual life and privacy to the public was an anathema in her time.
So, here’s a woman whose writing perplexes everybody in her generation. And whose work flares up wide spread condemnation and also admiration at the same time. You must agree to the fact that her work puts many fans to a position of scapegoats and social thrashings.
This blog therefore, attempts to provide whatever resources are available about her in order to enable you to have deeper research works and investigation into her life. Her sexual rides and her womanly yearnings that life had offered her and the experiences she encountered while hunting for true love is kept in special emphasis.
This blog also aims as a rendezvous for shared information and discovery of the holistic works she had left behind.
A Unique Personality
She is a unique voice. And anything that stands as a hiatus due to social pressures and restrictions must be found out; and any undisclosed part, left untouched or unknown by the researchers and scholars in the form of a lacuna, must be tied in to exposing the true work that is being investigated about her.
She received all sorts of protests and resentment penning her Autobiography. Despite all the oppositions from every nook and cranny, she managed to hang on and became the most controversial poet the continent had ever witnessed and thus demands further findings of her works.
She is claimed to be the first Hindu woman to talk about sexual desires freely and honestly. She had been considered as an iconoclast of her generation.
Changes Made to the Original Manuscripts
Just as Marilyn Monroe(1926-1962) is the Goddess of Sex in Hollywood, Kamala Das can be called the Indian Monroe. Marilyn was a symbol of sex to millions of men worldwide. She was born to be a mysterious lady that inflamed sizzling sex urges in the heart of every man. So a sensational archive of the actress’s own writing—diaries, poems, and letters—is being investigated for publication.
In the like manner, kamala Das’ oeuvre must be investigated in its entirety. The publication of her novel,”My Story” deserves full probing and scrutiny to come to terms in knowing what she had left behind for everyone to see and read about her.
Registered records show that the publication of My Story in the English version came out in 1970 with many changes made to the Original Manucsripts. And if the changes made stand true, what are the changes? And how can they be made to reach the reading public, and in whose hands can we get access to such changes? Are, some very important questions we need to reason together.
In her poem,”The Convicts” she states:
… There was a burning in our
Veins and the cool mountain nights did
Nothing to lessen heat. When he
And I were one. We were neither
Male nor female.
The burning in the veins along with the stanza is a sensuous poetic passage hurling amorous implication and feeds the readers with titillating excitement which is flawless. The merging of the poet with her beloved as one body is a euphemism for sex in authentic exotica.
Here is a bombshell who breaks the contours of Indian womanhood. She is controversial and openhearted in the line that she expresses her longings and yearning desires without inhibitions. She is unstoppable in the exposition of her innermost cravings for true love and sexuality. This has, as a result, paved a road-map to women’s freedom and liberty in the entire continent.
The intensity of revelation of her body in its full nakedness is unique. Her dashing personality that comes like a hurricane has changed the landscape of women writing in India.
She is called ‘The Love Queen of Malabar’ and can be called ‘The Indian Monroe.’
What do you think?
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Reviews and Comments
“Kamala Das does not hide her secrets and does not follow the rules of old morality.”
The Times of India
“The chapter headings accentuate the excitement. There is enough in it to give readers the sizzle and spice.”
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