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Kamala Das: Tragedy of Contrast between Childhood and Adulthood

Abstract: This paper attempts to focus on Kamala Das’s vision of her secure and happy childhood and her frustrating adulthood exploring her poems critically. Her innocent past is juxtaposed with her sexually experienced present life in many of her poems. Her nostalgia is enrooted in her exhaustion from the current situation of life. Her loneliness and dissatisfaction compel her to fall back on her childhood memories which provide her with momentary relief but at the same time make her present predicament more pathetic. It seems that her nostalgia for childhood is the outcome of her realization of the lovelessness of this cruel world of adulthood. In a very confessional tone, Mrs. Das describes the autobiographical elements of her personal life in her poems. Her ancestral house, Nalapat House, and her grandmother are one of the central themes of her poems. She compares the selfless unconditional true love of her grandmother to the sexual selfish lust of her life partner in her poems. The vivid picture of her childhood incidents in her nostalgic poem is actually a retreat for her which helps her to get some relief from her present tortured self.
Keywords: poems / adulthood / grandmother / House / childhood / nostalgia / sexually / Kamala Das

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