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From the Dusk of Life

Ratnamayi Devi (Author)
Synopsis This remarkable publication is a translation by the eminent author I.K.K. Menon, of Ratnamayi Devi’s autobiography written in Malayalam about 20 years account of her early life before marriage in Travancore in the second and third decades of the last century; her marriage to a distinguished but temperamental playwright at the age of sixteen and her determined search for a career which even after three children were born to her, took her to Madras, where she worked as a teacher. The Quit India movement and Gandhiji transformed the simple, shy, young woman into a fighter for many causes; it would not be an exaggeration to say that she was a feminist in her time. She lived in Wardha in Gandhiji’s ashram and later in Delhi during the turbulent days of the Partition. During this time , her first marriage is terminated pleasantly enough and she meets another freedom fighter, the Hindi scholar Sita Charan Dixit, with whom she had a very happy relationship. Her academic career began in the municipal schools of Delhi and reached a climax in the sixties when she became Head of the Department of Sanskrit in Miranda House. During this period she translated many books from Hindi to Malayalam and from Malayalam to Hindi. When she finally reached the dusk of her life she could look back upon a lifetime achievement in intellectual and literary pursuits and also in the service to society.
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About the author

Ratnamayi Devi

Dr. Ratnamayi Devi was a scholar and creative writer of distinction in several languages. She was also a freedom fighter in India’s national movement. More importantly she spent the middle years of the 20th century in a veritable pilgrimage of faith from Traveancore to Madras, Wardha and finally Delhi where she settled down in the course of this very busy life. She had also to bear the burden of bringing up her children and the children of her second husband. Utterly anti-egoistic, she would not have written this book if she had not been coaxed, bullied and persuaded by a very dear friend. In an important episode in her life she spent two years as India’s cultural representative in Guyana in the Carribean. Looking back in the middle eighties for seven decades she writes without conscious rhetoric. That is why this book provides the complete record of the activities of a wonderful human being at a time of major upheavals in India dominated by Gandhiji whom she knew and adored and who influenced her life. A modest self-effacing person of serene charm in spite of her erudition, she impresses us as truly “a heroine of our times”.

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Bibliographic information

Title From the Dusk of Life
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8122006884
length xviii+186p., Appendix; Index; 23cm.
Subjects Biography