And beg now at strangers doors to
Receive love, at least in small exchange?
She died. The one who wrote this. But what death means? Specially the end of some ones life who is known to me only through words? She was a poetess. But for me she is my romantic Icon. The lady walked through out her life with the fragrance of romance.
Live and die as a genuine human being.
How fascinating it was aami ? Follow your life as a street walker behind you. I did it. So do many.
This is in a way a confession from some one who can look at you,beyond your words.
My adolescence flowed with your words wandering in my dreams and thoughts.
Did i felt the same when reading this?
"My mother did not fall in love with my father. They are dissimilar and horribly mis mated".
Yes I did. So do they. My later chats with many women in red sindoor in a train compartment ,or a bus station or in a queue went around the same question. The sweat around their fore head and the darkness around their neck gave me the answer “untold”.
I realised about the baggages i HAD, from your words. My good old baggages like my NAME, my LIKES and DISLIKES fashioned not by me,but by my surroundings, compulsive addictions to NORMS and FORMALITIES , SOCIALIY fixed DO s and DO NOT s. Those were not mine aami, i realised i am just a carrier because some where in the beginning some one gave those smelly loads and later many others filled their mercy into it. My “self”, kept it with me, like a kid wearing those Halloween clothes and wandering through the streets saying trick or treat, allowed others to throw their morals and rights into my bags .
It is you who liberated me from that kid to a woman. Yes when i read this "...why should this name, so sweet surrounding, entered at all the room where i go to meet a man, who gives me nothing but himself,who calls me in his private affaris By no name." Those were the words from which i emerged as a woman. Kamala your words were the womb which carries me several times.
I felt my existence inside you and my liberation from something unknown.
When you wrote about the birth of a child, “separated from darkness that was mine/ and in me.” For the first time I felt I am a newborn. Yes for the first time in my life I wish to attain motherhood.
Kamala, you opened my door to nobody's windows. And i meet many there, they have different vocie ,colour but all of you are in the same time zone. That is why, i read your " I am a million ,million people ,talking all at once ,with voices raised in calmour,like maids at village wells
“....I'm nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody, too? Then there's a pair of us - don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know!... "
With the same pain and blankness.
You told the world " i am scared and alone". They laughed and giggled. Me too? You cried, "I am betrayed,"
Sometimes your words reminded me, " am just another female animal."
Your words hurts my ego, many times, because those where direct weapon's towards social hypocrisies.
How powerful your clam voice is,"I always wanted love, and if you don't get it within your home, you stray a little" the echo hit several ends.
How imaginativie you were aami, and how realistic your imaginations were,who else can pictures The Dance of the Eunuchs in words with that perfection? Who else can drag others into that meagre rain ,which ask them to taste the dust ,feel the attics and the urine of lizards and mice. After you who else is here to make me feel radha"s love towards krishana and hold my breath when reading this lines again,
At sunset, on the river ban, Krishna
Loved her for the last time and left...
when you wrote this I can visualize how meditatively your radha stands there, when you wrote Krishna loved her for the last time, for you me and many others it is not that sexual act of mating it is making the other filled with love, that is why the single word left means so extending and powerful.
When we enter the next lines, again we were not entering into a sexual zone...
That night in her husband's arms, Radha felt
So dead that he asked, What is wrong,
Do you mind my kisses, love? And she said,
No, not at all, but thought, What is
It to the corpse if the maggots nip? "
How very well you portrayed the impersonal low voice of radha here? After writing this I, sit back, pressing my head against the wall looking through the window to the watercoloring sky,feeling your radha inside me,with a haunting nostalgic pain. Aami you were brilliant.
Brilliant and brave.
"A fond husband..a great tree, felled, he slumps against my breasts,
And sleeps. Ask me why life is short and love is
Shorter still, ask me what is bliss and what its price.... "
Mrs Das for me your sound is strange, unique but familiar,sometimes odd but victorious in its tone.
When I read the lines like
Getting a man to love you is easy only be honest about your wants as
Woman. Stand nude before the glass with him so that he sees himself the stronger one and believes it so, and you so much more softer, younger, lovelier. Admit your admiration. notice the perfection Of his limbs, his eyes reddening under the shower, the shy walk across the bathroom floor,dropping towels, and the jerky way he Urinates, all the fond details that make
Him male and your only man...”
Your words were responsive and receptive to the inner me. You are the one who introduced the concept of my “ man “ to me.
They asked me who is your man, will he come? Days months and several rains passed with out answering the query but your words gave me the re assurance, he will come.
Gift him all,
Gift him what makes you woman, the scent of
Long hair, the musk of sweat between the breasts,
The warm shock of menstrual blood, and all your
Endless female hungers.
Yes aami the tone of betrayal first heard through words later experienced in life. It is true aami
Getting a man to love is easy, but living
Without him afterwards may have to be
How difficult it is to leave the life of drab and destitute.
Through your life you proved there exists “my man”.
You searched for him in krishna,allah and words. You meet him several times,
And you wrote,....
“I meet a man, Loved him. Call him not by any name, he is every man who wants a woman, Just as i am every woman who seeks love."
You are the one who taught us sex is a divine path towards love. When you wrote
"your losses are my gain",
I hold a wish in my heart ,please let her lost her self again in her world of dreams and back with words and vision. When you wrote
“this is the only kind of love,this hacking each others parts,Like convicts hacking,breaking clods at noon we were earth under hot sun. There was a burining in our veins and the cool mountian nights did nothing to lessen heat when he and I were one,we were neithr male or female. “
You are the one who taught me to go on with the feeling "
It will be alright, It will be alright . It will be alright between the world and me. “
How long this words spread through my pillow cover and what was the distance between my tears and those words. It may be the same between your soul and those words.
When you wrote my only freedom is the freedom to discompose......................
Some say, your words were simple confessional outpourings. I am not into the debate whether your words were voluntary or involuntary confessions, or mere imaginations or a deliberate compulsive effort to transform feelings as words, and create your own audience and space in literature. Don't know. But those outpourings are communicative.
"Yes, I know, yesterday I might have been against liberation, today I am for it. Tomorrow I do not know what I would say, and how I feel".
It communicates even with future.
When you wrote in neipayasam.
"Have the children gone to sleep? Had they eaten anything, or had they just cried themselves to sleep? But they are too young to understand. Unni just stood there watching me when I put her in the taxi. Only the youngest one cried. But that was because he wanted to get into the taxi too. Certainly, they did not know the meaning of death.Did I know? No. Did I ever imagine that she would suddenly fall down one evening and die, without saying farewell to anyone?"
Reading this again and I wish if i am some one who is not aware about the effect of the death..let me wait for the dessert prepared by her through her words,let me feel again and again she will be back and prepare unforgettable stories again for us. Let me wait like those kids in neipayasam.
I am sure kamala there will be hearts rise and sings the songs of love in those voice never as sweet before same as your imagination and wish, and they will realise LOVE, like life is sweetest even after its end.
Because you, yourself was the real love kamala. I dont know whether your poems are ironical , cynical or confessional,but for me they are the true representation of a poetic self.
My StoryA Childhood in Malabar: A MemoirThe poetry of Kamala DasContemporary Indian Poetry in English: With Special Emphasis on Nissim Ezekiel, Kamala Das, R. Parthasarathy and A.K. RamanujanUntying and retying the text: An analysis of Kamala Das's My story (SELL-Series in English language and literature)Only the soul knows how to sing (Deecee contemporary series)Padmavati the Harlot and Other Stories"The Old Playhouse and Other Poems