Ya Allah &Ndash; The Psychology of Kamala Das
Into the soul of Kamala Das through one of her poems.
The deep, profound experiences of Kamala Das contributed to her embracing of the religion of the Mohammedans in the year 1999. The fact is, Kamala Das converted to Islam in 1999, but she did so after a thorough study of the religion.
Even in the year 1996, when she was on a tour of the Middle East, reading her poetry to the masses there, right at the time when many of her Malayalam poems were being simultaneously translated in English and Arabic, she decided to, and wore, the hijab (the attire of Muslim womenfolk).
‘Oh! The Boundless’ is almost mystical in its outlook, being comparable to Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry in the ‘Gitanjali’.
‘Ya Allah’ was published in the year 2002, three years after Kamala Das became Kamala Surayya. It was well received both in Kerala and in the Middle-East, and was translated into over thirty languages.
‘Oh! The Boundless’ is a tender and love-filled tribute to Allah, the maker of the universe. Allah, the merciful God, and the Only God, is the epitome of unbridled freedom. He is not an entity limited by manmade definitions. He is both light and shade, and the happiness that the earnest searcher seeks.
Allah is restful slumber, and yet, he is also a mighty conqueror.
Kamala Surayya grapples with this paradox, and indeed, she is wonderstruck (thunderstruck) by it. The One who is capable of ravaging the boundaries of cities and towns is capable of encapsulation within the depths of the human heart.
The Almighty is infinite, and indeed, this is the wonderful and most profound mystery that Surayya contemplates in ‘Ya Allah’.
To Surayya, Islam meant liberation- a break from the forces that enslave human life.
The love of the most high may be contemplated by the mortal. However, a lifetime is hardly sufficient to grasp it.
Kamala Surayya embodies the human struggle and eventual sense of futility in describing the marvelous and indescribable One.
‘Ya Allah’ is Kamala Surayya’s “yes” to her maker. She is not an evangelist. The truth is, she is more a mystic.
- Das, Kamala.My Lord, My God.Dubai: Centre for Social Studies, 2009.Web.7 Oct. 2011.
- Jaihoon, Mujib.“Introduction to Ya Allah.”Jaihoon.com. <http://www.jaihoon.com/2196.htm>