A deeply moving tale of a small-town schoolteacher and his young pupil
Vasu Master has recently retired from his job in a small-town school. Away from the familiar, circumscribed world of school, principal and classroom, Vasu Master begins to relive incidents from the past, and discover, in his own halting but imaginative way, the nature of teaching, teacher and pupil. This process of self-discovery is speeded up by the arrival of Mani, who cannot - or will not - speak. Vasu Master tells the reticent child one fantastic story after the other as he faces up to the biggest challenge of his life: can he teach (or heal) Mani?
Using fantasy, fable and a host of wonderfully imagined characters - and the gentle, humane and philosophic voice of Vasu Master - Githa Hariharan creates a richly textured and complex work that eloquently explores the human condition, and the underlying principles of all human action.
"Vasu Master spins a succession of fables which, in their range and
diversity, epitomize the human condition. But there is also a deep vein of
fantasy and mystery running through them, which breaks out in all its enchantment
in the strange and glittering climax."
"This is a book written with a rare lyrical grace, and one that consistently
reveals new depths."
"A marvelously written book with wit as corrosive as dry ice..."
"...a silken web of fables and parables..."
The Indian Express
"...what matters is Hariharan's zeal to confront systems that bind the mind."
"...sophisticated, accomplished… also brave, for it must take considerable courage to attempt something so complex, so full of memory and stillness…"
The Book Review
"Refreshingly simple and humorous narrative style… despite (the) serious subject…"
"Charming, entertaining and thoughtful…"