Submitted for Manbooker prize 2014
I am your sister Lexmi, born in the twenty-third generation of the ancestry of your gene. After two thousand years, I came up through your genetic ladder to know the truth of your ‘self.”
I was brought up in the strict guidance and rituals of the Indian Vedas and Upanishads. I was exploring with wonder why you became my object of obsession.
While wandering with the wings of dream in the pathways of Jerusalem’s temple and across the wild desert lands of Judea, your vibrant face bloomed before me. Later, on the junctures where my femininity was confronted, I felt your presence. My life resembled yours.
I have been meditating in this dark room for the past week as a penance just to hear your voice.
Oh, Magdalene, kindly fill yourself in me as a voice…
Feeble violin music rises; it transforms into a female voice…
The voice of Magdalene…
It goes back with the time…
Beyond two thousand years…
I tuned my mind and body with that musical voice.
My long time task gains…
Tell me Magdalene…. Share your moments of truth with me.
* * * * *
I am Mary Magdalene, the most misinterpreted woman in the history.
Dear Lexmi, I have been waiting painfully for you for many centuries. I should start my story right from my liaison with Jesus.
It was our wedding night. With his sweet and mesmerizing voice like the eternal music of immortal soul, Jesus said to me, “We were born for each other. In our childhood days, we fought and made up several times and realized finally that we belonged to each other. With your love only, I got my dignity. You are the person who showed me my own self.”
In the pure light of the olive lamp, my lovely eyes enveloped Jesus. He felt I was more beautiful than any angel in my snow white wedding dress. “Nobody in this world is so benign to me. How many rich peers yearned to take you as bride?” he asked me.
The hushed laughter of Mary, mother of Jesus, sounded outside the room. She was very happy on that day, and her constant melancholy evaporated. Consuming the remnant of the Jordan wine after the wedding, our relatives and friends swirled around hilariously.
An exotic divine fresh pine aroma exuded from my garments, and it spread over to Jesus. He gently sat near me on the bed and held my face near to his. He looked in to my eyes with extreme endearment. Those eyes were oceans of unending waves of love. My lips trembled near his lips. Even though we had been playmate from childhood, Jesus wondered out loud why he never noticed my rich and surreal beauty.
Often haunted by agonies and terrible loneliness, Jesus used to run to me when we were young. He would simmer and settle down in my company and at last sleep in my lap like a child.
Today, that old playmate was suddenly my Groom. My joy multiplied as I watched him staring at me so lovingly.
Any woman would have desired the handsome Jesus. Any woman would have lusted to strip before his eyes, filled with the peace and clemency of the other world as well as this world. Any woman would have received the gentle touch from his kind of charming long fingers. This was the golden moment of the fulfillment of a dream. I watched his face with love.
“Why? Why am I not able to touch you in this wedding night?” He asked piteously. “This bridal chamber is filled with the footfalls of angels. As I move my hand to touch you, the incorporeal pigeons grow as large as eagles and hack at my heart brutally with their sharp rostrums.”
“All of these are your phantasms, as usual. I believe that the only truth in this entire planet is our love,” I responded.
He laced his hands at the nape of my neck and held tightly. Our eyes met. As he tried to kiss my lips, he wriggled with severe pain as if spasms of pain hurt his heart. Jesus slipped away. He squirmed on the floor like an epileptic patient and slowly immersed into a deep sleep. Were the forces of nature treating Jesus harshly? Why was he departing from me? Fear filled my heart. I do not know for how long I sat motionless in that night. Time sprawled like a tired snake. Deeply depressed, I lost my state of mind and slept for many long hours.
…Suddenly the room was filled with poisonous cobras furiously approaching to bite Jesus, their horrifying hoods open wide. Hundreds of bloody torsos were scattered around him…. Jesus woke up from the nightmare. His tongue and lips were dry. He drank cold water hungrily from a goblet. He felt that somebody was pushing him out of that room. He was forced to liberate from all physical temptations. He was moving to an eternal remission from all flusters….
Jesus looked at Magdalene, sleeping in her bridal apparel like a tender kitten. He felt no affinity right then. Poisonous snakes began approaching ferociously towards him, hissing. He ran from the room. While running, he turned once again to Magdalene. The wedding chain he tied round her neck seemed like another stark reptile coming to attack him.
He opened the door in a hurry. It was like somebody was chasing him out from that bridal chamber. Jesus fell on the floor. He rose up quickly and began to fly through infinite time, crossing the skies, travelling from planet to planet, outrunning light years….
There is no abatement for a bleeding soul, even when it covers billions of light years. Jesus heard himself, the moaning of a cursed birth. His running was for refuge. Was time frozen under his feet? Was the time taking birth from him? Or was he the incarnation of time?
I’m pleased to introduce my novel ” The Gospal of Mary Magdalene and Me” is submitted for 2014 Manbooker Prize. This year Manbooker committee made new rules and regulations for the submission,that makes competition even harder than previsous years.
I have invested last 10 years of my life researching. writing and rewriting this book.More than 500 books I have read before , I wrote this novel.
Born out of diversity each of these women lived apart for centuries with out any meeting, finally,provides a context and a narrative style unique to this novel.And it unravels a freshness of spirit.The tug of war between the ideologies of the east and west, the interplay of similarities in human nature spread over a vast expanse of time help interpret and understand herself. The story draws its inspiration from my interest in the intriguing nature of feminist ideas alongside spirituality and sexuality
It was a sincere effort to highlight my passion for feminist philosophies, psychology and politics. I chose to write a fiction as I enjoy telling stories and found it a good medium to weave in my other interests in sociology, history ,metaphysics and quantum physics.
The first part of the novel deals with the recital of life experinces of Mary magdalene, who lived nearly two thousand years ago. there was a noble woman called Lexmi who lived in modern era. In the second part, Lexmi relates to Mary Magdalene , her woes as a philosopher and her frustrations reflective of life in today’s world. War is just like terorism, 20 million people died in the two world Wars and 10 million people vanished at the time of partission of India. My novel is seriously discussing these issues.
As a legal practitioner in a remote village of India and her unceasing challeges to corrupt practices and her shattered dreams. Second part of the novel is semi-auto biographical.
This story, set in Jesusalem, Kashmir and Kodungallur, a port city in the southern state of Kerala.
All the things in my consciousness are the parts of my culture. Many people asked me why I wrote the story of Magdalene even when I was born as a Hindu. My reply is this: I am not a Hindu, Christian or a Muslim. I am the product of all good things on this earth. The porridge which I drank today is made with rice grown in Thailand. I drank the result of the hard work of a Thailand farmer. I bow before that unknown farmer . Human beings are social animals and they cannot survive alone.