“No,” I said vehemently into the mobile phone. But he wouldn’t listen. The zeal for his “Lord and God” had overwhelmed him.
“Why is it that you don’t want me to come to Kerala?” he asked. “You people claim that it is God’s own land and now you don’t want me, the God’s apostle, to come to God’s own land?”
He was Thomas, one of the disciples of Jesus. He wanted to bring the light of Jesus to Kerala. I explained to him with my whole heart and soul that the Malayalis never accepted any truth from outside the state, though they depended on other states for everything else including vegetables. They think that they possess all the truth and nothing but the truth.
“How can you make such a ridiculous claim?” exclaimed Thomas who was convinced that his Master was the only Truth and Light. Thomas claimed that he had even verified Jesus’ truth scientifically. “Empirically,” he amended himself when I asked, “Scientifically?” He had touched the nail marks on Jesus’ palms and put his finger in the spear-wound between his ribs.
He was carrying truths from the depths of gaping wounds, he claimed. No truth can be more moving, more dynamic, he said passionately.
“Listen, Thomas, dear,” I tried my best to mollify his zeal. The Catholic truths in Kerala are fabricated by K M Mani, the Finance Minister and leader of Kerala Congress (M), in connivance with the bishops of the Church, the Hindu truths by Sukumaran Nair of the Nair Service Society and the fledgling BJP leaders, the Muslim League creates the Muslim truths, then we have the Marxist truths, Leninist truths, Maoist truths, Dalit truths, in addition to the elite class truths coming from none other than the Chief Minister himself...
“Truth is as simple as a mere ‘Yes’ or ‘No,’” insisted Thomas. “How can there be so many truths as you explain?”
An idea struck me suddenly. “Hey, Thomas,” I said, “do you know that all the 700 plus bars in Kerala have been closed. And they’re going to close the remaining ones too including the 3-star and 4-star ones.”
I didn’t tell him that K M Mani, one of our truth manufacturers, was facing a serious corruption charge levelled by the Bar Owners’ Association. I didn’t want to tell him that the Bar Owners’ Association and other similar associations of traders possess all the protean truths in God’s Own Country also just like anywhere else in the neoliberal world.
“Then what will I do for the eucharistic wine?” asked Thomas.
“That’s what,” I said gleefully. “You’ll only get spurious wine that comes from across the borders along with all the other spurious stuff that the Malayalis eat and drink.”
“Oh, no,” cried Thomas. “Let me see if I can reschedule my flight.” Religious people don’t like spurious stuff particularly when it comes to food.
I heaved a sigh of relief. I knew Thomas’ truth would not be able to outlive Mani’s and Chandy’s truths, Sukumaran Nair’s and Vellapally Natesan’s and Pinarayi Vijayan’s and so many other Malayali luminaries’ truths. Even if it broke even with all these, it would stand no chance before the truths of the new brigands of ‘moral police’. There would be no way of escaping the nooses dangled by the genetic descendants of Arnab Goswami who have invaded the countless news channels...
Note: It is believed that Thomas, the Apostle, landed in Kerala along with the traders who used to come and go regularly in those days.