my story

My Story by Kamala Das

I have no idea why Kamala Das isn’t a household name in the world of literature. Throughout this book, her poetry was beautiful, her solitude palpable, her desires transcendent, and her passions infectious. She is a writer so purely – feeling, wanting, and wondering fully in every line and chapter. Over the course of the novel, we learn about her girlhood, her failed loves, her broken marriage, painful motherhood, fleeting affairs, the identity of the fabric worn, and the home that is found in smells and oils and foods. Above all, we learn about her surrender to illness and life. I underlined a lot of passages, below are a few. 

Often I have toyed with the idea of drowning myself to be rid of my loneliness which is not unique in any way but is natural to all. I have wanted to find rest in the sea and an escape from involvements. But rest is a childish fantasy, a very minor hunger. The shark’s hunger is far greater than mine. There is a hunger in each of us to feed other hungers, the basic one, to crumble and dissolve and to retain in other things the potent fragments of oneself. But ultimately we shall discover that we are immortal and that the only mortal things are systems and arrangements. Even our pains shall continue in those who have devoured us. The oft-repeated mores of every scattered cell shall give no power to escape from cages of involvement. We are trapped in immortality and our only freedom is the freedom to discompose…

The beginning of Autumn:
She floats in her autumn,
Yellowed like a leaf
And free

Madness is a country just around the corner.

I am at peace. I liked God to a tree which has as its parts the leaves, the bark, the fruits and the flowers each unlike the other in appearance and in texture but in each lying dissolved the essence of the tree, the whatness of it…Each component obeys its own destiny. The flowers blossom, scatter pollen and dry up. The fruits ripen and fall. The bark peels. Each of us shall obey that colossal wisdom, the taproot of all wisdom and the source of all consciousness…