National » Kerala

Updated: December 18, 2010 20:06 IST

Thassarak as Vijayan saw it

G. Prabhakaran
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The story-teller of Khasak: O. V. Vijayan. File photo
The Hindu
The story-teller of Khasak: O. V. Vijayan. File photo

A monument for O.V. Vijayan, the ace storyteller of Khasak, is coming up at Thassarak, a village near Kodumbu. A gateway to the village being constructed at a cost of Rs.15 lakh will be inaugurated on December 31 at Thassarak.

The gateway was designed by artist Baijudev. The village is being converted as a pilgrim centre for the fans of the late writer and lovers of art and literature.

The house where Vijayan lived as a schoolteacher and conceived the classic Khasakinte Ethihasam (Saga of Khasak) is being bought by the government to set up a museum. The 22 cents and the old building known as ‘Kalapura' is being acquired.

Vijayan's epic is Khassakinte Ethihasam, which he wove out of rustic prototypes from Thassarak, a small village eight km from Palakkad town.

According to Prof. P.A. Vasudevan, columnist and a close friend of Vijayan, the master short-story writer, novelist and cartoonist transcends the barriers of his mother tongue through his cartoons.

Perhaps like BC and AD, Malayalam literature is surveyed as before Khassak and after Khassak. Such was the willingness with which the reading constituency received it and debated it.

The village of Thassarak, from where he picked up his characters of Khassakinte Ethihasam, will be recreated in the memorial that is coming up in the village, said District Collector K.V. Mohan Kumar, a known writer in Malayalam.

Apart from Khassakinte Ethihasam, there are a host of novels and collection of short stories of Vijayan. A large chunk of it has come out in English in Vijayan's own translation.

Almost every week there is an influx of readers, students and people from outside the State to Thassarak. They are virtually on a pilgrimage to the village from where the author drew inspiration from the rustic prototypes.

There is nothing the village has to boast of except paddy fields and coconut garden. But after the death of Vijayan four years back, the village suddenly shot into literary parlays as Vijayan was here almost on an exile in the 1950s, said Prof. Vasudevan.

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