The Legends Of Khasak Analysis

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The Legends of Khasak is set in the backwaters of southern India, in the middle of the twentieth century. The District Board has established a single teacher school in remote Khasak, in a an effort to give the local children access to basic education, and Ravi is to be the first teacher there. Ravi is the outsider in this place, but he easily fits in the scheme of things here. Contrasts abound in the book -- modern world intruding upon tradition, strangers mixing with locals but Vijayan doesn 't make it a book about these contrasts. It is this remarkable village-world -which takes everyone, including Ravi, into its embrace that is the centrepiece of this richly populated work. Khasak is both wondrous and faulty. It is no real-life…show more content…
'By the goddess on the tamarind branch, by the snake-gods -- I will not go to the kafir 's school ! ' The mixing of deities, a girl attending the madrassa: that is the sort of place Khasak is. And, needless to say, on the first day of the new school, Kunhamina is sitting in the front row of Ravi 's class. But school is only one part of life in Khasak: Vijayan builds up to that first school-day, but then allows school-life to blend in equally with other parts of daily village life. Similarly, later, a school inspector 's visit is much anticipated -- only again to prove less significant than feared. Khasak is a place full of anti-climax. Conflicts abound and personal and professional relationships constantly change. Solutions are provincial but effective, such as when the town idiot, the lovable Parrot, Appu-Kili, is converted to Islam:
The Parrot was to be allowed the freedom of both religions. For certain days of the week he could be Muslim. For the rest he could be a Hindu. If necessary, Hindu, Muslim and Parrot all at the same
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There is also a mix of the supernatural -- spirits and haunted locales -- but it is woven in naturally, beliefs and superstitions that make sense in this small world but aren 't too deeply analysed. The end - the death of the mullah, a crisis that rallies the locals around Ravi, and Ravi confronting his own past - is also well-done, and the book closes artfully with Ravi 's fate.
The novel, metaphysically, ends where it had commenced: at the bus-stop of Koomankavu. But one really wonders if the central-character deserved such a tragic end at the hands of the novelist. Would it not have been better for the reader to imagine a Ravi who continued to tramp the earth, in search of truth; for the quest of his spiritual liberation?
The novel begins with Ravi’s arrival at Khasak and his encounters with its people, Allappicha Mollakka, Appukkili, Shivaraman Nair, Madhavan Nair, Kuppuvachan, Maimoona, Khaliyar, Aliyar, and the students of his school like Kunhamina, Karuvu, Unipparadi, Kochusuhara and others. After some years, his lover Padma calls on him and Ravi decides to leave Khasak. He commits suicide through snake-bite while waiting for a bus at

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