Commentary on Extract on Vickram Lall

As time passes our experiences turn into our memories, "memory makes monkeys of our enemies" however they also give our friends "a tint of rose, or it saves them in amber." This main idea is explored in M G Vassanji's The In-between World of Vikram Lall when the protagonist Rabba and his younger sister Deepa are attacked by six Muslim youths , however they are also saved by Mr Bapu (also Muslim). This experience is a result of racial tension between the Kenyans and Muslims- a theme the writer has also been weaved into the passage.

We are first exposed to the racial tension in this passage through the use of diction and syntax. The Mosque is said to be "towering in all its grandeur." Making it evident that Muslim is the religion which tower over others. The symbol of the towering mosque is not enough for the Muslims to signify their superiority, they find the need to ambush Rabba and Deepa, two Kenyans one of which"was dating one of their girls." Rappa could feel "a tremor in [his] sister's arm." The use of simple sentences create suspense meaning they both already knew they were unwelcome in such a Muslim dominated society. The attack was by "six youths, howling like wild dogs, gesturing like demons" surrounding them. The use of diction of the words "demon" and the number "six" link together to create a religious undertone to the passage. The attack was also planned out to be inescapable for Rabba and Deepa, making it unfair and un-honorable. All this makes it all the more evident that in a heavily religious area, lives are run by the strict religious rules and fear rather than faith, love and fairness which religion is seen to be about.

However in a turn of events Rappa and Deepa are rescued by Mr Bapu who is also Muslim himself. His selfless act of kindness proves that even amongst this dense racial tension there are still good people who are willing to live together peacefully, putting aside all religious differences. When "what awaited was only the kill"...