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My Mother at Sixty Six About The Author
By- Kamala Das
Kamala Surayya (born Kamala) (1934-2009), also known by her one-time pen name Madhavikutty and Kamala Das, was an Indian English poet and litterateur besides being a leading Malayalam author from Kerala, India. Her popularity in Kerala is based chiefly on her short stories and autobiography, while her literature in English, written under the name Kamala Das, is noted for the poems and explicit autobiography. She was also a widely read columnist and wrote on diverse topics including women’s issues, child care and politics among others.
CHAPTER NUTSHELL My Mother at Sixty-Six
- Genre: Poetry (Through Narration)
The universality of the Theme
The theme of inescapable decay, a presentiment of emotional susceptibility leading to terrible fear of death, separation-isolation. The daughter’s feelings and concern are portrayed in a sensitive manner. One of the many childhood fears that distressed her was the fear of her mother’s death.
- pain and anguish felt by the poet.
- on seeing her ageing mother sitting in the car.
- on her way — airport.
- dozing — mouth open — visage pale, ashen, lifeless like that of a corpse
- dismay — insecurity — triggered childhood fear.
Escapism-looks outside-car-to-put—dreadful thought away-
- contrast between her mother’s weakness and frailty.
- blossoming life-exuberance-young trees sprinting-racing past-grim reminder of lapse of time.
- Children sprinting-new hope-happiness-youth-poet drifted back to-days of idyllic youth when the mother — young-energetic.
- now a grim reminder of lost youth-twilight-inching towards death.
After security check-standing few yards away
- looks – mother’s face.
- wan like winter moon – resembles foggy — misty – end of the cycle.
- feels a twitch in heart-old familiar ache-childhood fear seizes her.
- fear of loss & separation.
- beset with the sorrow-insecurity-agonizing thought of mother’s impending death.
- bids goodbye-hides fear by smiling-telling ‘see you soon Amma’.
- hiding her own grief she smiled and smiled and smiled-assurance.