Published on: July 21, 2022



Why in news?

Google celebrated the 113th birth anniversary of famous Malayalam poet Balamani Amma with a Doodle illustrated by Kerala-based artist Devika Ramachandran.


  • The Doodle shows Balamani sitting by a window and composing a poem. Several books can also be seen in the scene.

About Balamani Amma

  • Balamani was a recipient of multiple awards, including the Saraswati Samman — India’s most esteemed literary award — and Padma Vibhushan — India’s second-highest civilian award.
  • She published more than 20 anthologies of poetry, prose, and translations.
  • Known as the grandmother of Malayalam literature, Balamani was born on July 19, 1909, in Nalapat, her ancestral home in Punnayurkulam located in Kerala’s Thrissur district. She never received any formal training or education but was instead schooled at home by her uncle Nalappat Narayana Menon, who was also a popular Malayali poet. He had an impressive collection of books and works that Balamani studied at a young age.
  • In 1930, at the age of 21, Balamani published her first poem titled Kooppukai. Her first recognition as a gifted poet came from the former ruler of the Kingdom of Cochin, Parikshith Thampuran, who awarded her with the Sahithya Nipuna Puraskaram.
  • Her works adopted the ideas and stories of mythological characters, but depicted women as powerful figures who remained ordinary human beings. Her most famous works include Amma (1934), Muthassi (1962) and  Mazhuvinte Katha (1966).
  • Balamani’s daughter Kamala Das was nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature in 1984.
  • “Balamani Amma’s poems describing her love for children and grandchildren earned her the titles of Amma (Mother) and  Muthassi (Grandmother) of Malayalam poetry. She passed away in 2004 and her cremation was attended with full state honours.