Nalapat Balamani Amma Biography – Biography Of Balamani Amma

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India has a woman who got fame by writing poems in Malayalam language – Balamani Amma. Balamani Amma Known for writing poems related to her writing work and motherhood. In the year 1930, with her most memorable song “Kuppukai”, she was greatly appreciated and became known among the people. She has been given the title of “Grandmother of Malayalam Literature” for her unforgettable literary contribution. Most of the people of the country are familiar with the names of famous Hindi poets like Sarojini Naidu, Mahadevi Verma, Subhadra Kumari Chauhan etc., but very few people would know the name of Balamani. Balamani’s life is very interesting and inspiring, which has been attempted to be told under this article.

biography of balamani amma in hindi
biography of balamani amma in hindi

Balamani has received various honors like Padma Bhushan, Sahitya Akademi Award and Saraswati for his distinguished literary contribution. Poet Balamani, who was born in Kerala, is respectfully addressed by people as “the poetess of the motherland”.

Nalapat Balamani Amma Biography

Full NameBalamani Amma
date of birth19 July 1909
birth placePunnayurkulam, Thrissur, District – Malabar, Kerala (India)
WorkPoetry writing, writing and excellent translation
AreaMalayalam Literature
age95 years 2 months 10 days
date and place of death29 September 2004 in Kochi (Kerala)

Who was Balamani Amma?

Nalapat Balamani Amma is a great Malayalam poetess. His tenure is similar to the Chhayavadi period of Hindi literature. More than 500 Malayalam poems have been written by him in his life, which made him a famous poetess of Malayalam language. She has a good hold on Malayalam language due to which she has got the place of grandmother of Malayalam literature among the people. Balamani was born in a traditional family, due to which he was not allowed to go to school and get education. But since childhood, he had a special interest in studies, due to which the family members arranged for a teacher at home. In this way, while taking education at home, he got good knowledge of Sanskrit and Malayalam language.

In her personal life, Balamani was a devout woman with an unostentatious mindset and did not visit the temple regularly. But during her stay in Nalapat, she sometimes used to go to the temple of her favorite deity Sri Krishna in Govindpuram. Her maternal uncle N Narayan Menon had built a small temple near her house in Nalapat where she used to visit.

birth and early life

Balamani was born on 19 July 1909 in Punnayurkulam, Malabar district in the southern state of India. His parents’ name was Chittanjur Kunjjanni Raja and Nalapat Koochukutty Amma (mother). His family was a traditional family known as Nalapat. The first problem of his life was that in his family girls were not allowed to go to school. Thus, Balamani did not receive any formal education in his life, although Balamani had great interest in reading, perhaps she brought these qualities with her from birth.

In view of his hobby, arrangements were made for education at home. In this way, she started studying Sanskrit and Malayalam at home. He learned from his philosophical maternal uncle N.K. Started writing work under the guidance of Narayan Menon. Along with reading from the books present in his library, he traveled the journey of a successful poetess. A large number of books can be seen in the almirah of his house Nalapat. The special thing is that along with paper books, there are palm leaf manuscript books in his books. Books ranging from ‘Barahsamhita’ to Tagore are found in his collection.

Often poets and scholars used to stay at his house for many days. In the presence of these people, the atmosphere of the house is filled with literary discussions. This type of environment greatly influenced Balmani’s childhood and she started thinking and studying. She started composing poetry at a very young age and was greatly influenced by the famous Malayalam poet ‘Vallathol Narayana Menon’. Balamani published his first poem ‘Kuppukai’ in the year 1930.

Marriage and family of Balamani

In the year 1928, at the stage of 19 years of life, Balamani got married to V. M. Nair. Her husband became the Managing Director and Managing Editor of Mathrubhumi, a widely read Malayalam newspaper. He was also a senior officer in an automobile company ‘Wellfort Transport Company’. Only after 4 years of their marriage, they went to settle in Kolkata. At the age of 24, she gave birth to her first child, Kamla Suraiya. There are four children in his family – Kamla Surayya, Sulochana, Mohandas and Shyamsundar.

Her husband left the company and came back to Kerala and started working in Mathrubhumi newspaper. In this way, his family came back after staying in Kolkata for a short time. Her husband died in the year 1977. The effect of their married life of 50 years can also be seen in some of their poems like – Amrit Gamaya, Swapna, Parajay.

His daughter Kamala Das is a famous writer in English and Malayalam language, who has got a lot of popularity from her autobiography ‘My Story’. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature for good literature. Amma has had a great influence in Kamala’s literary writings.

Literary work of Balamani Amma

Balamani Ammaji has got fame as a nationalist poet and writer of Kerala. He has given a lot of place to nationalism in his poems. Apart from this, she has been working to engrave the soft feelings of love, affection, human love etc. through her poems. His literature could not remain untouched even by the light of the lamp of freedom. In the years 1929-39, during his teenage years, he created poems full of patriotic, Gandhian and independence thoughts.

In India’s independence, he had given the form of words to his thoughts and feelings by extracting poems from his pen. Since the time of the freedom movement in the country, she was influenced by Gandhiji, for this reason she used to wear khadi clothes and used to express her support by running a charkha. His poem ‘Gauraiya’ became very famous during this time. This poem is taught in the textbooks of Kerala.

The poems written in his teenage life reached the public through books after his marriage. Her husband also did the work of giving enough time and opportunity in the creation of literature. Sufficient servants were employed at his house for daily work and for the care of the children. In this type of arrangement, he was encouraged to devote most of his time to writing. Balamani came to Kolkata after her marriage because of her husband’s work. He gave a good place to the experiences of living in this house in his poetry. In this way, the first poem here came out with the name ‘Kalkatte Ka Kala Kutiya’, for this poem her husband had requested her.

Although the first poem composed by him from his introspection is ‘Matruchumban’. In later times, she has given place to feminine experiences like pregnancy, childbirth and child-rearing in her poetry. After a decade from this period, Balamani took his poetic thinking from the periphery of home and common life to the feelings of spirituality. Till then this dimension was untouched in his poetry.

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details of illness and death

Balamani Amma suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for 5 years in the last days of her life and died on 29 September 2004 in Kochi, Kerala.

Some major poetry collections of Balamani Amma
NagarthilMajuvinte Kathaniveddam
veilagamakaAmritangayamDharma Margathil
dead bodySopanamPrabhakuram
Kudumbanisri hridayamBhavanayil
Pranamamavar padannu
Awards and honors received by Balamani Amma

Balamani Amma has been given the country’s third highest non-military honor ‘Padma Bhushan’ by the government. Similarly, for his love for children and poetry, he has been given the title of ‘Amma’ and ‘Muthassi’. The list of many famous awards received in his literary life is as follows –

serial numberaward nameYear
1Saraswati Samman,
2Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for Mutassi1963
3Sahitya Akademi Award for Mutasi1965
4posture award1989
5Valetol Rewards1993
6Lalitambika Andharjan Award1993
7education award1995
8NV Krishna Warrior Award1997
9Padma Bhushan Award1987

Some interesting facts related to Nalapat Balamani Amma

  • Balamani Amma is also known as ‘Poetess of Motherhood’ because of her poems.
  • The poems written by him during the years 1959 to 1986 have been collected under the title ‘Nivedham’.
  • Balamani was married at the age of 19 to V.M. Nair.
  • His daughter also became a famous poetess like him who died in the year 2009 at the age of 75.
  • Madhavdas Nalapat, the country’s first geo-politics professor, is his grandson.
  • In the year 1987, Balamani was given the country’s third highest honor ‘Padma Bhushan’.
  • In 1984, Balamani was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
  • The famous award for writers in Kerala named ‘Balamani Amma Award’ has been created by the Kochi International Book Festival Committee.
  • World famous search engine Google also aired Google Doodle in honor of Amma on her 113th birth anniversary.
  • He has not taken formal education from any school, although he has received Sanskrit and Malayalam education at his home.
  • A good collection of books is seen in his house Nalapat.
  • Balmani’s favorite color is red and white and she loves to wear saree.

Questions related to Nalapat Balamani Amma

Who was Nalapat Balamani Amma?

Balamani is a popular Malayalam language poet who has received many honors and awards for her outstanding literary contribution. Common people recognize her as a motherly poetess.

Which was the first published poem of Balamani?

Balamani started writing poetry at a very young age. His first poem was published in the name of ‘Kuppukai’ in the year 1930, when he was only 21 years old.

Who is the daughter of Balamani?

His daughter’s name is Kamla Surayya, who is a well-known writer. He got a lot of popularity from his literary work ‘My Story’ and his name was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature.

When did Balamani Amma die?

He died on 29 September 2004 in Kochi, Kerala after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for 5 years.

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