Today famous Indian poet Balamani Amma’s 113th birthday is being celebrated by Google Doodle. She is known as the grandmother of Malayalam literature. She was born in Kerala’s Thrissur district. Balamani Amma has been awarded for her numerous excellent literary works. Some of prestigious awards awarded to her are the Saraswati Samman and Padma Vibhushan, which is India’s second-highest civilian award. Balamani Amma was also the mother of Kamala Das, who was nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature in 1984.
She never acquired any kind of formal education. She was educated at home by her uncle Nalappat Narayana Menon, who was also a popular Malayali poet. His famous collection of books and works were what Amma most enjoyed reading as a child. She got married when she was 19 to V.M. Nair, who was the managing director and managing editor of the Malayalam newspaper named ‘Mathrubhumi’.
‘Kooppukai’ was her first poem which was published in the year 1930. The former ruler of the Kingdom of Cochin, Parikshith Thampuran, appreciated her for her beautiful piece of work and named her as a gifted poet. He also awarded her with the Sahithya Nipuna Puraskaram.
Amma’s early poems was usually themed on motherhood with inculcating the ideas and stories of mythological characters and portraying women as powerful characters. She was considered as the “poetess of motherhood”. Her prominent works comprises of Amma (1934), Muthassi (1962) and Mazhuvinte Katha (1966).
Her poem’s titles of Amma (Mother) and Muthassi (Grandmother) of Malayalam poetry was apt according to Google Doodle as her fondness for children and grandchildren was clearly evident in her works.