Thiruvananthapuram, May 31 (ANI): Noted Malayalam and English writer Kamala Das, also known as Kamala Suraiya, passed away in a Pune hospital on Saturday night due to pneumonia. She was 75.
She was best known for her poetry and also authored some short fiction, a novel and autobiography.
Born into a Nair family of literary and freedom fighters in Malabar of Kerala, Kamala gained prominence in literary circles after publication of her autobiography novel "My story" in 1976.
Kamala was the daughter of V. M. Nair, a former Managing Editor of the widely-circulated Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi and mother Nalappatt Balamani Amma, a renowned Malayali female poet.
One of the leading poets of India, with several poetry collections to her credit, Kamala Das used to write in Malayalam and English.
While writing in Malayalam, her mother tongue, she wrote Madhavi Kutty as her name, but in writing in English she initially used "K.Das" but received international recognition as Kamala Das.
In 1984, she also contested parliamentary election but lost.
Despite being born into a Hindu family, she confessed to have undergone a change of heart, leading to a shift in her religious beliefs.
Abandoning her inherited Hindu beliefs, she embraced Islam, made public appearances clad in traditional burqa and changed her name to Kamala Suraiya.
Meanwhile, State minister for Education and Culture, M.A. Baby, has said that her body would be brought to Kerala tomorrow and cremated on Tuesday in Thiruvananthapura, as per Muslim rites and with official honour. (ANI)