The Munshi is a perplexing character. I know his name is not quite impressive. Even the persona of the Munshi which only means teacher is totally commonplace. But he baffles me.
If that sounds surprising let me tell you a secret. He first appeared in the Village of Shadows as an ordinary senior citizen you would encounter in any Village in Kerala. A benign relic like rather like Geriatrix. Then he took on a life of his own and keeps popping up in my stories. I did not mean him to do that, hopping from story to story, like an unseen string. The Munshi in the Village of Shadows up to his heart attack is intentional. Actually he is based on a person I know. But what he did after the cardiac problem is not intentional. He just pokes his head in as he likes.
Who is the Munshi? Trust me, I have no idea.
I spent a lot of time trying to understand the guy. He lives outside time and space. So does the exclusive club of Sanyasi he heads. Their process of selection is hard to understand. Sage Agantuka in The Conflict of Karna has a band of followers. Others like Munshi, Nanu and maybe others do not teach. They recruit Potentials. Munshi seems to be the most senior of them all. The most phenomenal. His powers appear supernatural. But I guess they would be common place in , say a Kardashev V or even VI world.
Is he a sanyasi? So says those few he taught. Like Sage Agantuka (The Conflict of Karna). He has been around for ages and ages, as Sage Agantuka testifies to his pupils.