Her popularity in Kerala is based chiefly on her short stories and autobiography, while her oeuvre in English, written under the name Kamala Das, is noted for the fiery poems and explicit autobiography. Her open and honest treatment of female sexuality, free from any sense of guilt, infused her writing with power, but also marked her as an iconoclast in her generation. On 31 May , aged 75, she died at a hospital in Pune, but has earned considerable respect in recent years. Nair, a former managing editor of the widely-circulated Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi, and Nalappatt Balamani Amma, a renowned Malayali poetess. She spent her childhood between Calcutta, where her father was employed as a senior officer in the Walford Transport Company that sold Bentley and Rolls Royce automobiles, and the Nalappatt ancestral home in Punnayurkulam.
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All the religions now prevalent in the world have crossed their expiry date Kamala Das About a month ago the Malayali doctors living in America decided to hold a two day-seminar in Cochin. They wished to discuss not medicine but literature in their home-state. It was masterminded by Dr Pillay of Washington and his friends. I accepted Dr P Laja was accompanied by her American husband, Paul. They were born and bred in America. Except in the colouring of the skin they were no different from the Americans of their generation.
They could not speak any language other than American-accented English. Their elders tried to convince them of the greatness of their Indian heritage. The world culture permeated the lectures given by the parents who took solace in memories. Most rice fields have grown. There are no harvests worth speaking about, leave alone celebrating. To celebrate Onam in the US and other foreign countries, young girls who can only mispronounce Malayalam words are taught to lisp out ancient ballads and to dance around in a circle waving their bejeweled arms and tapping the floor with their feet making the anklets jingle.
By no stretch of imagination could they be taken as Indians. They were impatient with their parents who talked incessantly of the need to safeguard the Indian culture and, of course, Malayali culture. They did not want the children to get too close to the Americans. Dating was taboo. Obeying such parents meant segregating themselves. Segregation would make them feel alienated. Theirs was a generation that neither belonged to India nor the US.
The young ones were encouraged to join in. All the religions now prevalent in the world have crossed their expiry date. They cannot exert any beneficial effect on human beings.
They prejudice and poison the minds of their followers. Intolerance grows to vast proportions. Rioting can occur, and violence. Survival depend on the compassion one can cultivate within oneself and on the swift realisation that religious differences are myths. When, being compelled I decided to speak at a spiritual gathering in New Jersey.
I told them of my belief that God is pervasive like ether and has no form, no colour, no name. Afterwards one of the organisers of the get together snarled at me: "We took years to instill in our children some faith in our Gods and now you have confused them. Our work is undone. These days at places of worship one hardly sees a peaceful expression on any face.
Every devotee frowns and sulks. Each looks frustrated. There is a cruel glint in the eye. Avarice and concupiscence are evident in abundance. Once I had escorted a friend to a temple in Trichur and was standing in a queue to talk to the clerk at the counter.
A sour faced woman paid two rupees and asked for a coconut. To kill my enemy, naturally, she said with a wry smile, handing over the coins. The clerk did not look surprised. It broke into two halves. The woman licked her lips in glee. After all only two rupees were needed.
And the willingness to burden oneself with old superstitions. Chirutheyi Amma was forever boasting of the ease with which she prayed her foes to death, back in Balusseri, a village near Calicut. Probably the recollection of the two women, one an elegant sophisticate and the other a rustic indulging in such rites caused a revulsion in my mind towards places of worship. At Guruvayur I too have been collided against in a stampede. I have not been to a shrine for over a decade. Probably I never shall see such places again.
I do not have the need to externalise God. I feed at times that God has matured along with me, filling the crevices of my thought with the pristine light of energy.
Books by Madhavikutty
All the religions now prevalent in the world have crossed their expiry date Kamala Das About a month ago the Malayali doctors living in America decided to hold a two day-seminar in Cochin. They wished to discuss not medicine but literature in their home-state. It was masterminded by Dr Pillay of Washington and his friends. I accepted Dr P Laja was accompanied by her American husband, Paul. They were born and bred in America.
Ente Kadha Madhavikkutty
Nair, a managing editor of the widely circulated Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi , and Nalapat Balamani Amma , a renowned Malayali poet. She spent her childhood between Calcutta , where her father was employed as a senior officer in the Walford Transport Company that sold Bentley and Rolls Royce automobiles, and the Nalapat ancestral home in Punnayurkulam. Like her mother, Balamani Amma, Kamala Das also excelled in writing. Her love of poetry began at an early age through the influence of her great uncle, Nalapat Narayana Menon , a prominent writer. At the age of 15, she married bank officer Madhav Das, who encouraged her writing interests, and she started writing and publishing both in English and in Malayalam. Calcutta in the s was a tumultuous time for the arts, and Kamala Das was one of the many voices that came up and started appearing in cult anthologies along with a generation of Indian English poets. Das was also a syndicated columnist.