Vijayan, O.V. (1930–2005) By Panikkar, Chitra
O.V. Vijayan was a writer, thinker, political observer, and cartoonist, born in Palakkad, Kerala and rose to prominence with his first novel, Khasakkinte Itihasam (The Legends of Khasak, 1969). Such was the influence of this novel on the minds of the readers that the whole of modern Malayalam fiction came to be defined in terms of a ‘before’ and an ‘after’ in relation to it. Khasakkinte Ithihasam tells the story of a young, brilliant astrophysics student, Ravi—an agnostic, who leaves a promising career to take up a primary teacher’s job in a remote village called Khasak, immerses himself in the bewitching sensuousness of its rustic, amoral world, only to emerge an involved outsider and succumb to a self-invited death.