August 16, 2010

My Story by Kamala Das

I do not really remember what led me to this title, but once I read a few scattered reviews on the web about it, I thought its a story which I would very much love to read.

Its a story which is part autobiographical and part fiction. It traces the life of the author, Kamala Das from childhood through Calcutta, her ancestral home in Kerala, Mumbai and back to Calcutta. The story unfolds in front of us the family life and the married life of her parents. How she being dark made her the butt of all jokes at schools, and the extend to which the English teachers tried to hide these dark skinned children at all major events. She is shown to be a very good poet and well versed with classic English poetry at a very young age.

Marriage was a concept which was fed into her system since young, and she was groomed to fit the household of any suitable groom. A swift marriage and off to Mumbai. A changed, unhappy life ahead with a workaholic husband who needed her to handle the house and hand over her body. Its interesting to see how she starts to make friends int he circles she enjoys and one thing I appreciated was that her husband let her free as I think he understood he would never be interested in literature, poetry and history as she was.

Her children and her friends occupy her world, and its a story which flows through and its truly an account of a woman's life with the boredom, anticipation, fears and all weaved into one. I would not say its a must read, but its a book I enjoyed reading. Her frank accounts of intimacy and emotions has had this book seen in a completely different light, but at the end of the day, its a woman who is narrating her thoughts.

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  1. I liked it too - its slow but it grows on you. I admired her spirit

  2. @Ritu: I agree...her drive to write till the very end is amazing.


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