Kamala Das, who converted to Islam a decade ago and was known as Kamala Suraiya, died in Pune early Sunday, May 31. She was 75. The award winning writer, who wrote in both Malayalam and English was accorded a state funeral and policemen gave a gun salute as her body was interred.
Kamala's body was brought to Thiruvananthapuram on Monday, Jun 1 night after being taken to Thrissur, Kochi, Alappuzha and Kollam, where thousands of her admirers paid their last respects, many with tears in their eyes. The body was then kept at the VJT Hall here from 8 pm to 11 pm on Monday, Jun 1 and people came in hordes to have a last glimpse of the noted author. Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan also paid his last respects.
The mood was sombre when her body was lowered into the resting place at 9 am on Tuesday, Jun 2 and people took turns to drop clods of earth as is customary at funerals. Before the funeral separate prayers for men and women were held according to traditional Muslim customs.