Kamala Das hails from India and is famous for her collection of Short Stories, poetry and her famed Autobiography My Story.
The autobiography starts off with Kamala Das sand her family hybridizing into the customs of British Culture. It is interesting and ironic that she accepted European rulers with bonhomie.
She talks of herself and her brother being bullied by whites in school. Is she contradicting herself?
Again Kamala talks of Indian Patriotism. Her father asks her to shed of all ornaments and wear Khadi Saris. Is she a confused soul? On the one hand she accepts British rule and on other hand she displays Indian patriotism.
Kamala has a wounded childhood. Her parent’s behavior is oxymoronic. She describes her father as being crude and her mother has being refined and sophisticated.
It is political irony that she admires Hitler and Mussolini whose photos were being displayed in newspapers. They have turned out to be the worst tyrants of History.
Kamala Das talks of her childhood days of belonging to family of literary cognoscenti. From her writings it is very clear she was highly Europeanized.
Kamala Das is fond her aunt and at her death she found many poems dedicated to Krishna.
It’s an interesting fact that while she was in school, a girl named Devaki wrote a love letter for her. Actually the reality is that Kamala did not know of sexuality till marriage.
Kamala Das talks of her grand uncle who was an avid reader and a collector of books. She also mentions him of joining the Theosophical movement. Is her narrative a fashionable cosmetic? After deconstruction texts are canopy of being interpreted. Claims to intellectualism can be a sham.
Kamala Das recalls her experiences her life in boarding school. This was a time when she got infatuated. She always dreamt of being a princess. Her mind was clouded with thoughts of fetish narcissism. Very early in life she embraced the idea of bourgeoisie capitalism.
It’s interesting to note Kamala transition to adolescence. When she menstruated she thought she was going to die. Her mother guffawed it and gave her sanitary napkins.
I admire Kamala Das for having no color of religious prejudice. Many of her father’s staff were Muslims. When the Hindu Muslim riots broke out, she was vociferously against these riots.
Kamala in a narrative recounts a young man who visited her, a charming intellectual who had a crush on her and who kissed her on the lips. It was an epiphany of coming to terms with one’s sexuality.
Kamala recalls when she was young, she was forced into marriage. Her husband was crude lecherous creature, quite to her disappointment, she being very romantic. Kamala talks of her first night where she was literally raped by her husband.
Her husband was a beastly character. There is one instance where he locked the first born in the kitchen as a punishment and he had to stay there for the whole night.
There is moment in her life when she almost insane. It is quite clear that she was wounded soul with the heart of poetry.
Kamala talks of many experiences which made her a writer. One is her husband’s beastliness of wanting to plunder her in bed. This was a too harsh string for her. Then came the sights and smells of Calcutta. She became thrilled to see Eunuchs dancing in the street. Numerous were sexual escapades. All of her life she was looking for ideal love. She was in conflict with love and confused about the difference between Platonic and Erotic love. Yes Kamala Das was blatant in violating the shibboleths of Kerala culture.
There came an instance in Kamala’s life, after the publishing of her autobiography, My Story, she became estranged from her husband.