Google celebrates grandmother of Malayalam poetry Balamani Amma's 113th birthday
Today Google is celebrating the 113th birthday of famous Indian poet Balamani Amma, who was popularly known as the grandmother of Malayalam literature, with a Google doodle. The doodle has been illustrated by Devika Ramachandran, a Kerala-based artist. Amma had received several accolades for her literary works, including the Padma Vibushan and Saraswati Sanman. Read on to know more about the incredible poet!
Born on July 19, 1909, in Nalappat, her ancestral home in Kerala's Punnayurkulam, Nalapat Balamani Amma did not receive any formal education or training. She was home-schooled by her uncle Nalapat Narayana Menon, who was also a famous Malayalam poet. At the age of 19, she got married to VM Nair, the managing director and editor of the well-known Malayalam newspaper Mathrubhumi.
Amma's first poem titled Kooppukai was published in 1930. Her recognition as a gifted poet came after Parikshith Thampuran, the former ruler of the Kingdom of Kochi appreciated her work and honored her with the prestigious Sahithya Nipuna Puraskaram. Amma was interested in Indian mythology and her early poems glorified motherhood in a new light. She depicted women as strong figures in her poems.
Amma's poems also described her immense love for grandchildren and children, earning her the title of Muthassi (grandmother) and Amma (mother) of Malayalam poetry. She was also referred to as the "poetess of motherhood." Some of her famous works include Amma (1934), Muthassi (1962), and Mazhuvinte Katha (1966). She is credited with publishing over 20 anthologies of poetries, translations, and proses in her career.
On December 29, 2004, Amma passed away in Kochi, Kerala. Her cremation was done with full state honors. Her daughter Kamala Das was also an Indian poet and author and was nominated for the Noble Prize in Literature in 1984. Das passed away on May 31, 2009, in Pune. Amma's outstanding contribution to Malayalam literature has kept her alive in people's hearts.