”Long, long ago, in times now unknown to man, there came riding into their primordial palm grove a caravan of a thousand and one horses. The riders were Badrins, holy warriors blessed by the Prophet, and at the head of the column rode the holiest of them all—Sayed Mian Sheikh. The full moon shone on the thousand male horses of spotless night shining white. The heart of Thasrak pounded in the rhythm with their hoof beats.! But the horse the Sheikh rode was old and ill.!! furthermore, it was not sheer white. it’s a white horse with black patches. Mohan continued the story.
When the old horse with patches could go no farther, not even a feet the Sheikh ordered his warriors to stop. In the last leg of the night, as the moon set, the faithful animal died. The holy horse with patches was buried in a palm grove. It is said that he rises from his unmarked grave, rises with the wind. the Thasrakkians who listen in grace can still catch his unsteady hoof beats as he comes to the rescue of the lost, when they felt completely exhausted, Pazhani mountain trekking Shanmughanandans prayed him…He refreshed them, often helped the ailing and the aged, destitute and widows to across the wooded mountain pass …
The thousands of holy horse riders dismounted and set their camp in the palm grove. They chained up the horses on the palmyras. It is believed that the people of Khasak are the descendants of those thousand horsemen .”.
Gradually we have lost the sight of Kooman Kavu..””we have reached the myth woven terrain of the beings and beyond beings..”
The path sloped down again, … The sun had almost gone to the west..; the wind rose again, no longer a gentle breeze but the east wind which blew in through the mountain pass, wild and tumultuous on the palmyra fronds..the identical sound Scape of the Thasrak’ s physical structure.. the rumble and rustle of the palmyara wind of Thasrak elevates us into a spiritual and mythical plane..everything along the canal hedges and the space of Koomankavu sported a matured and aged organic look. we
felt as if we have been crossing the barriers of time and space since we started from Palakkad.. then we passed Yakkara..
Kuppu Asan, the legendary toddy tapper of khasak married Kallu from Yakkara, a village a few miles from Khasak. The daughter of a prosperous tenant-farmer, she was the youngest of seven sisters.
That was how she came to Khasak as the bride of a tapper, one whose social status was lower than that of a tenant-farmer. A bride of fourteen, she had come away from the cosy family farmhouse, the yard around it, the stables where the grey buffalo calves would shake their heads and flare their nostrils in recognition. She found her husband a loner and the house beset with dust and cobwebs, moss and trash. She suppressed a sob, and swore she would transform her husband Kuppu to be a person of higher social status and later she leaves him..
Later on we reached Kinassery. inKinassery, the road forks into two..We may take the road to Peruvmbu. Kelu Menon the postman of khasak informs Kozhanasseri Ravi about the Kozhanasseri’panjayath elections.
Kanni Moothan,’, Secretary of Kozhanasseri’s Peace Council visits him along with other comrades.
The comrades rationalised that Kelan the comprador bourgeois, Sivaraman Nair the feudalist, and so on. Ravi felt it as a deviation. Vijayan might have added and altered certain phonemes of the word Kinassery.
We took a deviation to Peruvempu road the magnificent place where percussion instruments like chenda and maddalam are created. We came across with an aged shepherd with a face riddled with furrows perhaps as old as the forefather of Kuruba lineages.
The pastoralist with a flock of sheep grazing and moving asymmetrically in the field. The benign age of the shepherd, the ancient trees with their riven bark and roots arched above the earth, we felt that we are off to a new terrain.
”Ravi the protagonist also felt like this,” the hardcore OV Vijayan fan Prakasan couldn’t resist his temptation for uttering the opening of the novel where Ravi embarks,” When the bus came to its final halt in Koomankavu, the place did not seem unfamiliar to Ravi. He had never been there before, but he had seen himself coming to this forlorn outpost beneath the immense canopy of trees, with its dozen shops and shacks raised on piles; he had seen it all in recurrent premonitions—”
That s normal, each natural unit of landscape, unless it is plundered by men, has its unique identity. the special characteristic impression may be a confluence of aesthetic proportion of the vegetation, physical features well as the dynamic process taking place in it”..Hari popped up a sheen of philosophical ring.
Mohan pointed towards an ashy bluish backdrop, there emerged mountain with a protruding black rocks..over the verdant paddies below.
”They believe the Sheikh still sleeps in a rock chamber on top of Chetali.” Mohan said.”Both the Muslims and the Hindus of Khasak look upon the Sheikh as their protecting deity.””he added. The Wild beehives, one waxed to the other, hung in immense formations underneath the rock, inaccessible to man.
COURTESY O. V. Vijayan Smaraka Samithi
Vijayan was striving to create a new world beyond reasoning beyond spatial dimensions that brings us close to the beehives of mysteries of the universe.His characters realize their life crossing the material world and worlds beyond imagination.I thought.
As we biked along the muddy dusty road,
.A whiff of beedi smoke that sent out by the passing bicyclers could be felt on the canal ridge road.” it could be Attars beedi..or may be Naizams beedi. Prakasan recreated the characters..in lighter vein.
There emerged the structure of nhattupura..as if in a reverie..the holy structure can bless u with rebirth..it could be the Garbagriha of the lost generation, that is potent to transform you ..Hari exclaimed..
‘”It had all begun this way: in 1956 my sister got a teaching assignment in the village of Thasarak. This was part of a State scheme to send barefoot graduates to man single-teacher schools in backward villages.”” Ov vijayan unfolded..
”Since it was hard for a girl to be on her own in a remote village, my parents had rented a little farmhouse and moved in with my sister. Meanwhile, I had been sacked from the college where I taught. Jobless and at a loose end, I too had joined them in Thasarak, to drown my sorrows.”O V Vijayan himself had clarified this.
His sister o. v Santha was appointed as the teacher of a single teacher school of Thasrak.
As given in the novel story goes like this The District Board had leased a house for the school, belonged to Sivaraman Nair,The character is the impoverished feudal chief of Khasak. It was a tolerable habitat with two rooms and corridor made of mud with a tiled roof in traditional Palakkadian architecture.
ENTRANCE GATE TO THASRAK
Palakkadians used to renovate their mortar mixture on the corner roof tiles immediately after the festivities connected with Kalpathy Theru is over. But such maintenance has not been done for a long time.There was a large yard shaded by tamarind trees. It stood on the outskirts of Khasak .the scent of thin superficial growth of fungus and moss hung heavy in the air. the farmer had used the shed to store seedlings until the last planting season.
”Ravi set up his school in this nhattupura ”
” this is my transit residency,”. Ravi went in..”
”Really nhattupura is a parallel for school , A place to keep seedlings before transplanting.’Mohan reminded..
”But its not a dynamic process’, just keeping !!!’ Prakasan retorted.
As we stepped into the courtyard of nhattupura ,a man of above fifty in old fashioned Muslim dress and a turban called us back..
He introduced himself in a kind and friendly manner. He was Abou youngest cousin brother of Allah-Pitcha mullah. ”I used to see him, Vijayan, he was very young probably in his late twenties..His sojourn here was silent.Do you remember who guarded the nhattupura and premises at night?
It was Nellikkunnam Kitta.. He was eighteen then,he added.As we surrounded him with widened eye curiosity,
Prakasan started scribbling in his pad. He might be a permanent member In the congregations beneath the banyan and in Aliyar’s teashop there, I ruminated.
The nhattupura belonged to Sivaraman nair…does nt,it,?
yah,, allah,, thappu.its Rghavan Nairs nhattupura.,A house to keep rice seedlings’
‘Where they used to stock seedlings before transplanting.’
hi,,have you ever heard of Valiya kadavath haneefa of thasrak?
Oh that ”mansion” (human being) is your Khaliyar. He was of the same age as Vijayan. Haneefa would walk with Vijayan all the way to Matichikkunnu..and back..He openly shared all the stories to Vijayan ..Later they met each other after the publication of the book.. that was not just a reunion of bodies,, but unison of body and soul ”
Aboukka continued his stories
Courtesy to my friends Mohan ..Hari.and Prakasan.