NIO Desk, July 19
On July 19, a Google doodle honouring the life and works of Indian poet Balamani Amma sparked curiosity among poetry fans. Netizens are interested in learning more about her works and contributions to Malayalam literature.
The Doodle illustrated by Kerala-based artist Devika Ramachandran, celebrates the 113th birthday of Balamani Amma, a famous Indian poet who was known as the grandmother of Malayalam literature—a language spoken in Kerala, India.
The Google shared in its blog post that “On this day in 1909, she was born in Nalapat, her ancestral home in Punnayurkulam located in the Thrissur district. She was a recipient of countless awards for her poetry including the Saraswati Samman—the nation’s most esteemed literary award—and Padma Vibhushanthe—second-highest civilian award of the Republic of India.”
Google shared that Amma never received any formal training or education, but was instead schooled at home by her uncle Nalappat Narayana Menon, who was also a popular Malayali poet. “He had an impressive collection of books and works that Amma studied at a young age. At 19, she married V.M. Nair, the managing director and managing editor of Mathrubhumi, a Malayalam newspaper.”as per Google’s post.
Amma’s debut poem, Kooppukai, was published in 1930 when she was 21 years old. Her first acknowledgement as a poet came from Parikshith Thampuran, the former king of the Kingdom of Cochin, who gave her the Sahithya Nipuna Puraskaram award.
Her writings incorporated the concepts and stories of mythological figures while still portraying women as strong individuals who still lived ordinary lives.
Her early poems glorified motherhood in a new light—she became known as the “poetess of motherhood”. Her most famous works include Amma (1934), Muthassi (1962) and Mazhuvinte Katha (1966).
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