Vaikom Muhammad Basheer: The zen master under the mangosteen tree
Ajoy Thambi, Dr. Deepa Caroline D
This study probes into the relevance of the teachings of Zen Buddhism in Vaikom Muhammad Basheer’s Writings. It travels through the tenets of Zen Buddhism that discusses nature, music, humour, love and how its reflections are found in the Basheerian world. Inheritors of the Earth, Me Grandad ‘ad an Elephant and Premalekhanam are the chief texts dealt in this paper. A reader of Basheer could easily trace a Zen Buddhist in his characters and in his works. Basheer was a man of love and compassion. He was very much interested in the problems affecting his fellow beings. His love and kindness were not limited to human beings. Like Zen Buddhists, Basheer also rejected polarization.The conflicts and contradictions in his stories are the fountain heads of his humour. Zen stories are usually in the question answer format. Basheer too, in his stories asks so many questions and attempts to find answers. Like a true Zen Buddhist, Basheer pursued the essence of life along the means of humour, music and love.