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Vidya Balan In Biopic On Writer Kamala Das

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Vidya Balan

Actress Vidya Balan is currently preparing for a film based on late feminist poet and writer Kamala Das. The film, directed by Malayalam director Kamal, is in Malayalam and will also star actor Prithviraj. Balan recently took to Twitter, tweeting out a photo of herself reading Kamala Das’ autobiography My Story.

Vidya Balan has reportedly hired a tutor to help her master the language. Although she was born near Palakkad in Kerala to a Tamilian family, Vidya grew up in Chembur and Mumbai. Her only Malayalam film was incidentally a cameo in Prithviraj-starrer period film Urumi in 2011. News of the actress playing Kamala Das was confirmed in June this year, after shooting of her film Begum Jaan was completed.

The actress admitted that while she had been offered numerous roles in biopics, she chose to play Kamala Das because of all the great stories she had written. “There have been a lot of great stories narrated to me in terms of the biopics that I have been offered over the years. Some I liked, but they could not happen, some I did not like. With the Kamala Das biopic, everything fell in the right place at the right time. She is strong, level-headed and a feminist. Plus, she is a poet. So, it was a yes from the word go,” she told DNA India.

According to an IANS report, the filming of the biopic, titled Aami, will happen in Kerala between 25 September and  5 November. After a short break, it will be resumed in Mumbai and Delhi.

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Kamala Das Courtesy: Newyorker.com
Kamala Das
Courtesy: Newyorker.com

Kamala Surayya was a major Indian English poet and writer who wrote under the pen name Kamala Das. Born and brought up in Kerala, India, she started writing from a young age. Her writing questions society on curbing women’s and voices. She is also well known for her short stories and autobiography. Her writing is powerful for its unabashed engagement with women’s sexuality.

At the age of 15, she was married to bank officer Madhava Das, who encouraged her literary interests, and she started writing and publishing both in English and in Malayalam. Das’ first book of poetry, Summer In Calcutta was considered ‘a breath of fresh air’ in Indian English poetry. She wrote chiefly about love, betrayal, and anguish.

She had been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1984, and had won the Sahitya Academy Award in 1985.

Although she was born in a conservative Hindu Nair (Nallappattu) family, she converted to Islam in 1999 upon the insistence of her alleged lover, Sadiq Ali, an Islamic scholar and a Muslim League MP. At the age of 65, she took the name Kamala Surayya.

She died in Pune on 31 May 2009, aged 75.

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Meanwhile, Vidya Balan will next be seen in Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahaani 2 along with Arjun Rampal, and in Srijit Mukherji’s Begum Jaan.

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