A Hot Noon In Malabar
Length: 901 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)
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By Kamala Das
Kamala Suraiya or better known as Kamala Das is a well known female Indian writer writing in English as well as Malayalam, her mother tongue.
She is considered one of the outstanding Indian poets writing in English, although her popularity in Kerala is based chiefly on her short stories and autobiography .
She had begun her carrer by writing short stories in Malayalam before she published her first book of poems, "Summer In Calucutta" which apperared in 1965 . Her unique style of writing and thought won her the fame and recognition of a potential female Indian poet.
The striking features of her works are the outpouring of personnel sorrows and feelings etc. portrayed
without any modification and known for its frankness and intensity of feelings . Kamala Das is probably the first Hindu woman to openly and honestly talk about love and sexual desires.Her poems can be described as confectional poetry straight from her heart without any adulteration.The confectional nature of her works is akin to Slyvia Plath who worked on personnel traumas.
A Hot Noon In Malabar is an intensively emotional and personnel poem.It's one of her typical works evoking malabar landscape and its lush greenery.
This poem very powerfully evokes her sense of belonging to the Malabar of her childhood and Malabar and the Alappat tharavad form the core symbols of this poem.In this poem she retraces her lost childhood in the tides of time but it still remains etched so deeply in her heart.
The nostalgic essence of this piece of work highlights the idyllic times she had as a young child. The Allapat tharavad where she spent her childhood stands as a symbol of joy of youth, for the beautiful experinces of a growing child,for the security,belonging, last not the least as a symbol of innocence .
Recollecting the old days, she remembers the totally unrestrained and unresticted life she had lead in Malabar.Kamala das have chosen words carefully to recreate and pour out the same feelings that had made those days memoriable and extraordinary.The intimacy with which she potrays her feelings are prominent and very clear to visualise.It helps in creating a panorama of varied experiences she had in her childhood.
For Kamala, Malabar stands for the exotic people bringing along with them bundles of mystery that arouse curiousness.Her verses in the poem underlines those experineces which she's devoid of now apparently and longs for them.
In her poem she recalls the beggars with whinning voices perhaps she seems to peacefull and complacent and yearns for trouble .Apparently ,she compares her barren montonous life in a city to the busy tight schedule routine she had when she was residing in Malabar.The exotic men from hills became a fantsy for her as they bring their fortune cards and parrots locked in cages and entertain her in stark contrast with her mundane and boring life of hers perhaps.Then there's the brown kurvara girl whose eyes gleam with the traditional knowledge that has been passed on from generation to generation and she used to read her palm promising excitement and foretelling her future this contrasts her empty life devoid of entertainment being confined at home.The bangle sellers brought various colors of bangles and laid
it on the cool black floor ,the cool black floor reminds her of the warmth of acceptance contrast with hostility and suspicion in a city.These people also brought part of their lifestyle and culture.All these are stained in time.Even the strangers used to come along with companionship she's referring to the assimilating features of her house ,everybody comes in ease and settles down so comfortably as though they are family and not strangers.
From here she speaks of strangers who are not strangers at all. These words
reminds us that she not only yearns for the beautiful ambience but also lost
We almost hear the agony in her cry when she says .
"To be here far away is torture"
Life's so colorful and she wants to become a part of it as she feels
abandoned and craves to be accepted ,to be the part of a world around her.
Her memory disturbs her. She feels that she have lost her past life forever
As she stays in a confined city home and is far away in time as well as in
As she remembers the beautiful landscapes of Kerala it becomes even more
profound when she associates it with "Wild men ,Wild thoughts, Wild love"
She desires to lose herself in passionate love perhaps her childhood was
devoid of unconditional love and she yearns for it from different sources.A
bridled restrained love is not love for her ,she wants more of passionate love
Throughtout the poem we see that there's a strong display of emotions
Which is reinforced by each of the phrases of her poem.The intensive feeling
is caputured effectively in this poem by the choice of words and detail.
In short, she yearns for unrestrained ,spontaneous feelings that she cherihes
as a part of her life in Malabar.This poem contains her unedited thoughts
which is so free flowing and so giving each thought shines in their own