Balamani Amma was a renowned Malayali poet, widely acclaimed for her remarkable works in the Indian literature scene. Born in Nalappat in Kerala’s Thrissur district, she rose to prominence through her short poems and essay writing. Throughout her illustrious career, Balamani Amma explored various themes such as nature, society, spirituality, and women’s issues. She also served as an editor of the literary magazine Mathrubhumi during the 1960s. In this article, we will explore Balamani Amma’s life and works in greater detail.
Balamani Amma’s early life
Balamani Amma was born in 1919 in a village called Nalappat near Tellicherry, Kerala. Her parents were Balakrishnan Nair and Lakshmi Amma. She had four brothers and two sisters. Balamani Amma lost her mother at the age of five and was brought up by her maternal uncle, Kunhiraman Asari, who was a well-known poet. Balamani Amma’s early education was in Mangalore, Karnataka. She later studied at Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam and Government Victoria College, Palakkad.
After her studies, Balamani Amma started teaching at a high school in Kannur. She married Sankaran Kutty in 1940 and moved to Thiruvananthapuram with him. They had three daughters – Rukmini, Sarada and Usha. Balamani Amma continued writing even after she got married and her first poem was published when she was just 16 years old.
Balamani Amma’s writing career
Balamani Amma’s writing career began in the early 1940s when she started writing for a local magazine. She soon gained recognition for her work and began publishing in national magazines. Her first book, a collection of poems, was published in 1957.
Amma continued to write throughout her life, publishing several more collections of poetry as well as novels and short stories. She was awarded the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 1974 for her collection of poems, Manorama. In 1999, she was awarded the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian honors.
Amma’s work is characterized by its simple language and themes of nature and love. She is considered one of the most important modern poets in the Malayalam language.
Balamani Amma’s family
Balamani Amma’s family was one of the most prominent families in Kerala during her time. Her father, Nataraja Iyer, was a highly respected judge, and her mother, Balamani Amma, was a well-known poet. Her brother, Raja Rao, was also a highly respected writer.
Balamani Amma’s later years
Balamani Amma’s later years were spent in relative obscurity. She continued to write poetry, and occasionally gave readings of her work, but her health began to decline. In 2006, she was admitted to a hospital in Kerala with heart problems. She died on 29 September 2011, at the age of 101.
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