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I am writing a collection of short stories based around trips through India over the years. i want to feature the dreamlike state that the great subcontinent can induce. I guess it's a form of magic realism - as much as an uptight Anglo-Saxon can conjure up. This story is from a poster I saw of Jesus on the road to Cochin in Kerala.


Submitted:Feb 1, 2007    Reads: 145    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


When I saw the face of Jesus, he looked happy to see me. Kind of sad, but happy in any case. It was the eyes. He had the soulfull eyes of a crooner before the drugs or disappointment took over. They were deep, deep blue and clear and caring. Like he really looked after himself. It didn't bother me that they were staring at me - unblinking, unwavering. Hell! He could have been an eye model he was so handsome. Come to think of it, he was the third eye model.

He was crowned with the ubiquitous "Jesus-hair". There was a time where Jesus was like Jennifer Aniston - everyone copied his hairstyle. He wore it long, but it was clean and neat. As was his beard. It was nice to see the Son of God taking such trouble with his appearance. And he made you feel like it was just for you.

If I had seen him in the 1970s, I would have called him a hippy. But from the '80s onwards, he could have passed for mid-level accounts executive. It's funny how that happens. One day your hair makes you an outcast, the next you're given the keys to the management washroom. I wonder what clients he would have refused to see. Would he have had a problem with tobacco advertising? What about gambling or contraception? I always thought he had bigger fish (fish being the symbol of early Christianity) to fry.

He held his heart in his hand. He held it in his hand and it was glowing. I'm not sure what he was saying with that. I mean, you can't hold your heart like that or else you would be dead, right? Was it a trick that he used to convert the unbelievers? Or was he showing off? It actually looked more like a tropical fruit than a vital organ. More like a saucy mango than a flesh blood pump. But maybe that was just a part of being in the tropics.

There was Jesus, framed by coconut palms, covered in dust, radiant in the gold light. He was just so relaxed. Like he belonged there. Maybe because there were already so many Gods, the pressure was off. Maybe even Jesus needed a holiday now and then.

I was thinking all this when Jesus spoke to me.

"Hey, look at that," he said in his cool, Californian Jesus voice.

I saw a white van packed with people glide past. It was tied together with rope and wire as the frame fought a losing battle with the sea-induced rust. Streams of brightly coloured cloth streamed off the women hanging on for dear life. Anywhere else it would have been unusual. But on the road to Cochin, it was only spectacular in its ordinariness.

I looked back at the Son of God with a bemused expression.

His blue eyes danced back at me. "On the back window, man. It's a paradox, but kinda cool."

On the back window someone had scribbled a Jewish Star on one side and a swastika on the other.

As usual, Jesus was right. It was kinda cool.





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