Monday, October 8, 2012
கடந்த 22-9-2012 l டெக்கான் நாளிதழில் பிரசுரமான எனது சிறு நேர்காணலின் பதிவு.
Somewhere in her memories, Kamala Devi built a small image of an ‘Ottappalam’ she heard her parents speak of.
Growing up in Malayasia and taking Tamil at school, her Malayalam has that mix of thai mozhi (mother tongue) and vaai mozhi (spoken language). Marrying a Singaporean Malayalee didn’t change things. But Malayalam slipped out of her fingertips when she became a writer. Not at first. That was a long time ago, in a Malayasian school, when Kamala was a 13-year-old schoolgirl.
She wrote for a children’s supplementary paper, a story called ‘April Muttal’ (‘April Fool’). And from then on, never put her pen down for more than a day. Kamala Devi is today a known bilingual writer, having published 18 novels in Tamil newspapers, 142 radio and television dramas in Radio Singapore , 22 Malayalam and Tamil stage plays, 165 Tamil short stories.
“It was a four-line poem in Tamil that I first wrote for a newspaper. I remember getting first prize for it,” Kamala remembers. Prizes came seeking her throughout her teenage years from radios and newspapers.
She wrote her first novel after marriage, when her first baby was born. “It was published as a newspaper series. That’s when Singapore Radio asked me for radio plays. I didn’t know how to write one. So I went there and sat one whole day, learning how to write a play. Aramanineram was one of the first plays I wrote.”
She won the award for best playwright, writer and director for her play Yedi Parvathy Ente Parvathy from the Singapore Kairali Kala Nilayam. She soon got calls from the Singapore Kerala Library Association to write plays in Malayalam. The language was dear to Kamala whose dad was a teacher in Ottappalam once upon a time.
Her days and nights turned into hours of creativity and Kamala became a bilingual writer in no time. Her next work is a research novel exploring the lives of three generations of Malaysian women writers, who wrote in Tamil. “All credit of my work will go to my husband and daughters who have encouraged and supported me in every way.”
Thanks to Deccan Chronicle.