Kamala Das was born at Punnayurkulam in southern malabar in 1934 and currently lives in Bombay. In her autobiography My Story Kamala Das candidly opens her life-history for her readers and shocks them with her sexual escapades.Brought up in a close -knit matrilinear society of Kerala, Kamala Das had a warm and happy childhood. Life became tough when she moved to Calcutta with her father and attended a catholic boarding school. At a very tender age she was married to a cousin for whom she had no love and thus began a pathetic phase of her life. Her husband’s insensitivity and callous attitude turned Das into a rebellious and confused woman who craved for love and sympathy and turned to strangers for some moments of happiness.
Kamala Das started writing verse early in school and developed a highly personal voice with an extraordinary feeling for rhythm, symbol and sound. By using the first-person singular and a highly emotive language, Das very astutely infuses her poetry with a lot of drama. In her own words. ‘We were volcanoes waiting to explode. I took up writing, hoping that it would help the volcano within to erupt in a slow, orderly way. I knew that I had to turn myself inside out. In talking to my readers I found my private voice, and perhaps my peace’.
A bilingual writer, her works in Malayalam and English include Summer in Calcutta (1965), The Descendants (1967) The old Playhouse and other Poems (1973) and My Story (1975), an autobiography.