Renowned Malayalam filmmaker Kamal, who is all set to make a biopic on writer Kamala Suraiyya (Kamala Das/Madhavikkutty) courted controversy by stating that the book on the late writer by her Canadian friend Merrily Weisbord had many lies in it. In a sharp reply to the filmmaker, Weisbord questioned Kamal's right to challenge the integrity of her book. Instead of trying to malign her, Kamal should focus on his film so that it would benefit those who study Kamala Das and her writings, she retorted. 

 

In a statement given to Mathrubhumi, Weisbord, writer and documentary writer based in Montreal, said that her book  'The Love Queen of Malabar, Memoir of a Friendship with Kamala Das,' was based on her long friendship with the writer and 70 hours of conversation. The audio record of the conversations are with the Concordia University and would be available for researchers soon, she said. Instead of trying to malign me, Kamal should have focused on his film on the writer, she said. 

 

The motive behind the movie 'Amy', which would see Bollywood actress Vidya Balan in the lead, is money, Weisbord criticised. 'But I wrote the book spending my money. I visited India eight times for that and Kamala was my guest in Canad twice," she said.
 

Also read: Vidya Balan prepares for Kamala Surayya biopic
 

The Canadian also suggested that the pressures from the sons of the late writer, whom she once termed as the most courageous woman she had ever met, must have prompted the filmmaker to deride her book. 
 

Also read: Why is Vidya Balan learning Malayalam?


Sons tend to protect the good image of their parents. It is understandable but improbable. Friends whom Kamala trusted know her real story, and she had mentioned it in numerous scribblings. But many of those unpublished writings mysteriously disappeared, Weisbord told Mathrubhumi

 

The book,  'The Love Queen of Malabar,' with its candid revelations on the life of Kamala Das had well received by the readers with many of its Malayalam edition selling like hotcakes. The book also had some controversial episodes on the love life of the poet who publicly announced her decision to convert to Islam and accept the name Kamala Suraiyya. The book revealed that the writer was prompted to convert by an Indian MP with whom she fell in love. Later, the politician dumped her, pushing the old writer into a life of dejection and forced confinement, the book said.   

 

Photo courtesy: Facebook page of The Love Queen of Malabar: Memoir of a Friendship with Kamala Das