Kamala Surayya / Suraiyya formerly known as Kamala Das. She spent her childhood between Calcutta, where her father was employed as a senior officer in the Walford Transport Company that sold Bentley and Rolls Royce automobiles, and the Nalappatt ancestral home in Punnayurkulam. Like her mother, Kamala Das also excelled in writing. Her love of poetry began at an early age through the influence of her great uncle, Nalappatt Narayana Menon, a prominent writer.
She was noted for her many Malayalam short stories as well as many poems were written in English. Das was also a syndicated columnist. She once claimed that "poetry does not sell in this country [India]", but her forthright columns, which sounded off on everything from women's issues and child care to politics, were popular. Das' first book of poetry, Summer In Calcutta was a breath of fresh air in Indian English poetry. She wrote chiefly of love, its betrayal, and the consequent anguish.
She travelled extensively to read poetry to the Germany's University of Duisburg-Essen, the University of Bonn and University of Duisburg universities, Adelaide Writer's Festival, Frankfurt Book Fair, University of Kingston, Jamaica, Singapore, and South Bank Festival (London), Concordia University (Montreal, Canada), etc. Her works are available in French, Spanish, Russian, German and Japanese.
She was born in a conservative Hindu Nair (Nallappattu) family having royal ancestry, After being asked by her lover Sadiq Ali, an Islamic scholar and a Muslim League MP, she embraced Islam in 1999 at the age of 65 and assumed the name Kamala Surayya.