Kamala Das, from India, is the prominent figure to bring out the cultural account in her poetry. She has been considered as an important voice of her generation who exemplifies a unique position by writing distinctively Indian persona rather than copying English modernists. Most of her work shows the male dominant culture that exists in South Asian world and the role of women in traditional Indian society. She wants to transcendent from traditionally set hierarchy. Her poetry has a born ‘Indianness’. She have succeeded to nativize or indianize English in order to reveal typical Indian situation. In “An introduction”, she alludes to her roots; she declares that she is an “Indian”. She explains that she is ‘born in’ Malabar, she does not says belongs to Malabar, and she is ‘very brown’. She defines herself in terms of nationality and color.

For Das, Malabar stands for the exotic people bringing along with them the bundles of mystery that arouse curiousness. In “A hot noon at Malabar”, her verses underlines her childhood experiences in Malabar. In her poem, she recalls the beggars with whining voices. The exotic men from hills became a fantasy for her as they bring their fortune cards and parrots locked in cages, and the “brown kurvara girl” whose eyes gleam with the traditional knowledge that has been passed on from generation to generation and the “bangle sellers” brought various colors of bangles. These people also brought part of their lifestyle and culture with them. The life in Malabar is so rich and colorful and poem beautifully accounts this life. This colorful imagery is also been described in ‘The dance of the Eunuchs’. Eunuchs are castrated males. It is sort of a ritual for them in India, to go and dance in the house where a child has just been born. The poet had an encounter with a group of eunuchs who were insisted on dancing to celebrate the birth of a baby in the house of a friend. The eunuchs’ description is very exotic as it says:

…eunuchs came

To dance, wide skirts going round and round, cymbals

Richly clashing, and anklets jingling, jingling

Jingling… Beneath the fiery gulmohur, with

Long braids flying, dark eyes flashing, they danced and

They dance, oh, they danced till they bled… There were green

Tattoos on their cheeks, jasmines in their hair, some

Were dark and some were almost fair


Some beat their drums; others beat their sorry breasts

And wailed, and writhed in vacant ecstasy.

Another important poem is “Krishna” the poem takes Hindu religion god as a subject of her poetry. The poem is actually about the total devotion to god Krishna.

Your body is my prison, Krishna,

I cannot see beyond it.

Your darkness blinds me,

Your love words shut out the wise world’s din.

She also has written other poems about other important Hindu religion gods: “Radha”, “Vrindavn”, and “Ghanshym”. By bringing these important Hindu religious figures in her poetry, she has set a new trend and made it possible to do away with the Ancient Roman and Greek gods.


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