A Passage To India: Part 2 Chapter 12 - Summary & Analysis

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      The Ganges might have sprung from Vishnu and fallen through Shiva's hair but it is not the oldest river. The Himalayas once lay under the ocean and the Indian continent was joined to Africa but the Deccan plateau had been there since the land had begun. It was believed that once Sadhus had lived in the caves. Even Lord Buddha might have passed that way though he had left behind to trace of his journey.

      The Marabar Caves were approached by a tunnel eight feet long, five feet high and three feet wide, which led to a circular space of about twenty feet in diameter. All the caves were alike. There was nothing extraordinary about them. Nevertheless, they were termed extraordinary.

      The caves were not well-lit. The visitor had to light a match stick to see them. The circular caves were situated towards the sun but very little of the sunlight; could penetrate them. They were countless in number. The caves which were open to visitors were far less in number than the caves which had never been unsealed. There was a bubble shaped cave in a boulder on the summit of the highest of the hills. It had neither a ceiling nor a floor. Because of its hollowness it swayed in the wind. If the boulder fell, the cave would disappear. Even a crow perched on it moved it Hence, it had derived its name 'Kawa Doi' from this. ‘Kawa Doi' meant something that moved at the touch of a crow.

Critical Analysis

      These caves represented the Indian hearts which had remained dark to the Englishmen because they never tried to discover them. They were open towards kindness but the rays of kindness being rare, never entered them and the Englishman never endeavored to light the match stick of sympathy.

      The British empire in India was like the bubble cave. It had a precarious existence and could have fallen down any day. It was based on the Englishman's haughtiness and was hollow from inside. This regime was like a 'Kawa Doi'.

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