The iconic Kamala Suraiyya, who was more famously known by the name Kamala Das or Madhavikutty, was dubbed as the ‘the mother of modern English Indian poetry ‘. Today marks the anniversary of the publication of Kamala’s revolutionary book, My Story. Google remembers the legendary Malayalam and English writer and honoured her with a doodle.
She was famous for writing poetry and the short stories explored the topic of women’s issue, female sexuality - free from any sense of guilt, child care, and politics among others.
Her autobiography was originally called Ente Katha (Malayalam for My Story) and was published on February 1, 1976. It garnered a lot of admirations and controversies for its topic of an Indian woman in the 1970s writing about her sexual desires, abuse and extramarital affairs.
Some early drafts of the doodle
In the autobiography, Kamala talked about her early marriage at the age of 15, the abusive husband, children, her extra-marital affairs and finally, her career as a writer.
Kamala’s boldness and shapeshifting quality was expressed in different languages. She once said, “I speak three languages, write in two, dream in one.”
Google says, “She was determined to live life on her own terms, resisting labels such as “feminist” and choosing different names for herself over the course of her life.”
Initially, she used the pseudonym Madhavikutty, Ami was her pet name and Suraiyya is the name she gave herself upon her conversion to Islam. The writer originally wrote her autobiography in English and named it My Story and later translated it into Malayalam along the way. In spite of some resistance from relatives to publish the book, “many readers were enchanted by the lyricism and honesty of her writing,” Google says.Artist Manjit Thapp created the artwork for today’s Google Doodle.