In the valley of the Khazak, the feet are rolling in the wastelands, and the dust is flying. The birds in the sky shake the blackbirds. Allapicha Mollaka’s, Nizamali’s Khazak is ahead. Time flies like a ball towards the goal post. The children circle the field like infinite stars in the Milky Way. Argentina won with Messi’s goal. That boy from Rosario Street is standing in the middle of the field waiting for the world to reach out. The city and the countryside are filled with the excitement of football and nothing else.
The legend of Malayalam literature went to the land when the World Cup hype was at its peak in Qatar. The journey is pleasant in a state of extreme vigilance, free from crowds and noise. Lionel Messi, the son of a factory sweeper named Celia Maria Cuccitini, was still on his mind. He glides and splashes across the field like a goat wandering the meadow.
The hype that was on television and across the seas is ending. As thin as thin. Meanwhile a news flash on mobile. Messi has declared the World Cup final as his last match after defeating Croatia in the semi-final yesterday. He is slowly returning to being the best football player of his era.
After reaching Palakkad city at noon from Ottapalam, we tried to find a good restaurant. Finally found that too and thought to take an auto and go to Tasrak. A driver took us to Khazak with an auto charge of around 200 rupees.
On the field, Hamies is guarding the goal like Higuita. Children of the new generation of Kazakhs are defenses. The cries of raceless blackbirds cease there.
As our auto sped along a small canal-side road off the regular bus route, it looked like something out of a Miyazaki movie. A small road with no space even for oncoming vehicles. Blackberries all around… a dry canal. Ten to twenty minutes to Tasrak. There are houses in front of Nhatupura. Behind is a long expanse of vast fields. The cultivated land lies fallow after harvesting. Ordinary people herding cattle. Blackberries in between. But Chetali’s valley in Khazak legend has faded away as an extraordinary experience of the past.
Majeed, a 70-year-old custodian of Nhatupura, said: “People have cut down all the black trees fearing that the government will take over the land”. From the history of the Kazakhs, the Karampanas have descended. The threat of displacement is part of history.
Majeed opened the building. More than 150 years old Nhatupura made of earth. Inside, the room where Vijayan stayed for twenty days is full of photographs. In other rooms are cartoons drawn during his lifetime.
A sculpture of Vijan stands on a champaka tree in the courtyard lawn looking at Nhatupura. Majeed said Vijayan was seven years old when he came there. Vijayan came to meet his elder sister who teaches in a one-teacher school and was mesmerized by the nature of Khazak. The legend of living relatives sprouted in Kazakh soil. It had a world-renowned history.
The scream of children with the ball rolling on the field, the scream of time, the world and the universe are freed from consciousness there. A kind of emptiness.
I noticed their team name. Kazakh FC A new generation is playing on Kazakh soil. I don’t know if they remember Vijayan. No car was found. We walked one and a half kilometers. At the junction where the road ends, there is a sign that says “Vayamambalam”. A gate built in rock. It is covered by banyan trees and a small bridge. The same place where Ravi landed in Khazak.