Tuesday, June 02, 2009

You just can't ignore her

She too passed away - beloved to some, ridiculed by many, but not forgotten by any. Kamala Das aka Madhavikutty aka Kamala Surayya would have breathed her last sigh as her homeland was getting ready to welcome the monsoon with open hands as always. It's ironic as she never would have felt welcomed in the same land she wrote so much about.

My first memories of her were venemous articles in the newspapers about her 'socially inappropriate' behaviour. And then there were discussions overheard where people tsk-tsked about her actions which weren't 'suitable for a Hindu woman'. Kali-kaalam, some called it. Opinions galore!

To me, she would always be an honest woman, true to her heart, who decided to live her life the way she wanted to rather than letting society dictate terms. She stuck to her beliefs and decisions though she was always rebuked and ridiculed. What a painful life it would have been! I have been ridiculed by friends and family for looking up to her and for admiring her confidence. Opinions galore again!

Some people are born at the wrong place at the wrong time. So was Kamala Das. How many woman writers do we have in Kerala who could stand up to her? The wait is on.

Whenever I hear someone thrashing her, I can't help but think
It's always easier to stand aside and throw stones,
than to walk the path that's dangerous.
Through your actions you unknowingly decide whether you will let the "society" rule your life.

Hate her or love her, you just can't ignore her.
May she rest in peace.

Must watch
A documentary on her - It was very sad to see it again today. I can't help notice and love her prim and proper English every time I watch this video.