The old Munshi again…


Consider space, time, matter, energy. All are same. All began together and will end together. I enjoyed Roger Penrose stating that the big bang which made this universe started with the ending of an earlier one and certainly will give birth to yet another or more universes.

Every Hindu is aware of this although not the mathematics of the expansion and contraction of sequential universes. All religions have the story of an apocalyptic event which does not finish off everything on earth. Science says we are in the middle of the sixth and the only man-made end of life event right now.

What has all this got to do with an old man living peacefully in a god forsaken village in Kerala. I gave him the name Munshi which means the wise man who knows things. This appellation was used to masters in the early years of my life. I don’t hear that word very frequently nowadays.

I say this about the Munshi because he enters my novels much to my surprise. I mean that. Ask any writer who does not plan his/her story down to the last nut and the last bolt. Characters evolve just like animals. Thus the Munshi who was a teacher in an unspecified school appears in the Village of Shadows.

Then he reveals his extraordinary powers, shocking me. For him constraints of space-time and the duality of matter-energy pose no problems. He, as he says, stands outside the parameters of physics. He moves into and out of the frame of reference.

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