Today  is  the 113th birth anniversary of Malayalam poet  Balamani  Amma.  Fondly called as the grandmother  of Malayalam literature , google doodle  made a special graphic. Illustration was done by Kerala  based  artist Devika Ramachandran. The poet was born in 1909 in  Nalapet, Thrissur district. She has received many awards like Saraswati Samman—the nation’s most esteemed literary award—and Padma Vibhushanthe—second-highest civilian award of India.  She was schooled at home by  her uncle – a famous poet, Nalapatt  Narayana Menon.  She does not have any formal training.  From young age she started reading  as  her uncle had a wide collection of books.   She was married  at the age of 19 to V.M. Nair, the managing director and managing editor of Mathrubhumi, a Malayalam newspaper.   When she was 21 years old,  she published her first poem  Kooppukai.  She received    Sahithya Nipuna Puraskaram   –  award from former ruler of the Kingdom of Cochin, Parikshith Thampuran and it’s he who recognised her at first. Her poetry was about women characters. She was known as the poetess of Motherhood as she showed it in a glorious way. Her works were based on mythological  characters and she  showed women as powerful figures.  Amma (1934), Muthassi (1962) and Mazhuvinte Katha (1966) are her astonishing works. Kamala Das who was nominated for Nobel prize in 1984 is Balamma’s daughter.  In 2004 she left for heavenly abode and for her cremation it was full state honours.


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