Kamala Das: The Mistaken Identity-II

Having titled my previous article the way I did, When I googled yesterday to find out few images of kamala, I came across another article which bears the same title. Though I am still unfamiliar with the stuff given under that title, I felt little embarrassed. The immediate thought was to rename my part two edition, which I am currently implementing. God save me, for I hope there are no more stuff which has my new title.

You can never anticipate people around you to understand you the way you would want them to, the best thing you can do is to be true to yourself being sincere and god fearing. Speaking your mind is no sin, speaking your experience is also no sin! Projecting yourself as a holy figure, doesn’t satisfy the soul inside you. One thing Kamala was particular about her writing is to be true to it, as I slightly touched upon, yesterday. Her personal experiences weren’t faked ones. Any woman who grew up in a similar background may run into the very same situations. So, before any body criticise, don’t be judgemental unless you study them. As men say, it’s not easy to understand a lady’s true emotions, may be that it’s beyond them. Kamala’s poems were too full of honesty.

Don't write in English, they said,
English is not your mother tongue. Why not leave 
Me alone,critics,friends,visiting cousins,
Every one of you? Why not let me speak in
Any language I like? It's half English,half
 Indian, funny perhaps, but it's honest, 
It's as human as I am human, don't 
You see? (An Introduction-1965). 

An Introduction goes further to expose the more true and honest Kamala. She describes her body, her marriage, her husband , rather it's one of Kamala's exclusive poem, exhibiting every bit of her shattered self.  

I am sinner, I am saint. I am the beloved and the betrayed. 
I Have no joys which are not yours, no
Aches which are not yours. I too call myself I.

While Kamala concluded thus, an introduction virtually became a beginning, a beginning of many don’ts and controversies. The poems she wrote between 1965-67, around 25 of them were focused on themes of love, longing, loneliness, desolation and sometimes death. ‘The Descendants’, a series of 14 poems, showcased a matured, still wanting- for- love mind of Kamala.

The Old Playhouse and Other Poems by Kamala in 1973, about five poems immortalised the mother’s mind in Kamala and sometimes her obligations as a wife. Towards 1984 and beyond Kamala’s spiritual mind turned to one seeking love from Lord Krishna, projecting herself as Radha. She wrote about Mortal Love(1991) and how she faced her father’s death. It also saw the composition of the famous Anamalai poems, a series of ten poems. Only the soul Knows How to Sing(1996) series shows her dreariness and worn out mind, ready to succumb. The Circus, from Kavya Bharathi familiarise the readers about the Old Kamala, still lonely, anticipating death. A number of poems from her Closure(2009) express the poet as the one awaiting death, accepting the realities of life.

Call me callous
Call me selfish
But do not blame my blood
So thin,so clear,so fine,
The oldest blood in the world (Blood).
Speaking about her own ancestral blood, which is fine and clear, she chose to bear the burden of all the mistakes she claimed to have possessed, only on her shoulders. But Kamala, you gave voice to a million unheard female voices...you never die, you're immortal.

Published by rekhashivam

Reading and writing is my passion. Philosophy, gender, Fiction, Mystery,Education, Thriller,I prefer these genres. But I must admit I am not a prolific writer. Just that I want to express and feel myself. Honest comments are heartily welcome.

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