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.

13 comments:

Kido said...

That's a really nice dedication... May she rest in peace...

N said...

I read one of her poems in school and her autobiography in college. Have to say I was struck by her courage and sheer resilience. I look upto her too. Weird comparison, but I always thought she was like our version of Maya Angelou - no idea why my mind always made that connection.

Shamly said...

Couldn't agree with you more. She was always ahead of her times. I have and will always admire her for the courage and honesty she showed towards life.

Devi said...

It's always easier to stand aside and throw stones,
than to walk the path that's dangerous


Very apt. Her contributions are priceless.

jenny said...

I think when i first read her poem i never understood why she referred to woman as bovine but growing up..whenever i saw ladies just taking in what people told them -going through life blissfully ignorant of things...im amazed at how insightful she was..and outspoken as well. Thanks for writing abt her priya

Quest said...

I came to know about Madhavikutty through the serialized versions of her stories shown on the Doordarshan, they were out of the normal way.....
Havent read any literature by her till today :-|

yem said...

Isn't she really overrated?

Her life has been full of inconsistencies. I don't have any issues with any specific viewpoints and philosophies that she had, but I lose faith when it changes all the time.

Vandikalakal, the last work was definitely bad. Admittedly she was very sick when she wrote it.

Quest said...

Out of here for long...wen coming back???

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Its been almost 8 months since u posted one...
U have a moral responsibility towards us (readers).
Hence on behalf of all, I strongly demand GWBE to post atleast one article per week, failing which will attract serious consequences.

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Helen said...

We can't ignore special people that have always have something smart and interesting to say. We can't ignore people that actually can teach us something. We can't and we shouldn't.