Kosala (Cocoon) as Campus Novel

It is known as an academic novel whose action is set in and around the campus of a university. The origin of this genre dates back to 1950s in Europe. The present novel, Cocoon is not set on the campus of a university but on the campus of a college affiliated to the university. Hence it is a campus novel. Pandurang Sangwikar studies at Fegusson College, Pune. And he is the bona fide student of the course of Bachalor of Arts. He is full of inhibitions, insecurity complex and awe for a novel place like Pune. Whatever happens with him in Pune in general and on campus in particular is the central plot of this novel. This novel deals with pandurang and his friends and their interaction, relationships, experiences amongst themselves.

Pandurang , very realistically narrates his experience of his Combodian friends- his hostel mate who calls Pandurang his Indian friend as backward because they sleep with their clothes on. He says that it is very unhiegic to sleep wearing clothes. He himself sleeps in naked position. One day, Pandurang and his friends crosscheck it by peeping through a window pane of the Combodian. When the frist friend sees, he says that he is sleeping on his stomach and looking very funny. But Pandurang finds him sleeping on his back which was opposite to what his friend said. Then Bapat, his friend, says that now the Combodian has changed his side. They again crosscheck it and find that he hasn‘t changed his side. The Combodian realize that something was happening outside of his room. When he gets up, they hide themselves in their rooms. When asked about the commotion to Pandurang, the later answers that they were seeing him sleeping nude. The Combodian replies that the Indian cannot see anything else but the nudity of a person. Once a girl bolts the door of a classroom from outside, when Pandurang studies inside. He saw the girl bolting the door. The girl deliberately stands outside of the window so that he should call her and request her to open it. Pandurang‘s perception of this act of hers is that she wants to talk to him. But he does every attempt to avoid it. He finds a strange way to come out of it. He comes out of a window of the classroom and enters the other room where a Chemistry lecture is on. He listens to the lecture for some time and then comes out.

These and numberless such interesting episodes have been woven into a beautiful garland with an interesting narrative technique in this novel. Pandurang‘s classmates, their attitudes towards their seniors and vice versa, their futile discussion on current and historical issues, the campus politics, the boys-girls relationship, the students of Pune verses the outsiders and the change in their behaviour and the teaching learning activities including their nature trips, love stories, sexual intercourses, abortions, love letter, telling lies to parents, over expenditure, the relentless studies and endless discussions and such romantic experiences of teenagers are at the centre of this novel.

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