Bookish Love: K Saraswathi Amma

Passing the Bachelor’s degree in English with first-class marks from the college in Changanasherry landed me in a proper soup. My extreme commitment to textbooks granted me the ability to swallow all of it by heart, and this dragged towards me the Goddess of Victory and Prosperity, who however indulged in pranks worthy of a total imp. Thus I set out to study for an MA degree in English in the capital city with my father’s help and the blessings of the Catholic priests who had taught me. Continue reading “Bookish Love: K Saraswathi Amma”

Fifty-five Passengers Only: K Saraswathi Amma

 

The conductor managed to free one hand and blow the whistle. The bus began to move. Many who had earlier advanced rightful claims were now reduced to begging. There were folks who had to reach weddings before the auspicious hour; also people whose very families were in danger of being thrown out bag and baggage if they didn’t reach the court on time and win the case. Continue reading “Fifty-five Passengers Only: K Saraswathi Amma”

In Defiance of Living Death: The Life and Struggles of K Saraswathi Amma – 2

Finally, the common rejection/corralling of her work and life as ‘exceptional’ and ‘isolated’, and therefore statistically insignificant, is now disproved by feminist historical research about early twentieth century Malayali society. This research reveals that this impression may well have been a product of our collective amnesia about Kerala’s first-generation feminists, many of who lived life as defiantly and independently as Saraswathi Amma, only to be derided or forgotten – for example, Kochattil Kalyanikkutty Amma (who won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi’s award for best autobiography at the age of 91 in 1993) and Vengalil Chinnammalu Amma . Continue reading “In Defiance of Living Death: The Life and Struggles of K Saraswathi Amma – 2”

In Defiance of Living Death: The Life and Struggles of K Saraswathi Amma — 1

[This is a slightly altered version of the introduction to the volume of translations of Saraswathi Amma’s stories. It draws significantly on my earlier work : Womanwriting =Manreading? Masculinist Literary Criticism and Women Writing in Twentieth Century Kerala,  Zubaan- Penguin India, New Delhi, 2013, and ‘’Beyond Kulina and Kulata: The Critique of Gender Difference in the Writings of K. Saraswati Amma’, Indian Journal of Gender Studies 10 (2), 2003, 201-228.] Continue reading “In Defiance of Living Death: The Life and Struggles of K Saraswathi Amma — 1”