Title: The man who died – the man who came alive
Author: Mario Perera
Publisher: S Godage & Brothers (Pvt) Ltd
DH Laurence wrote a story of the Resurrection originally titled The Escaped Cock. It is the story where Jesus gets up to find what an astonishing place the phenomenal world is, far more marvelous than any salvation or heaven – and thanks his stars he needn’t have a mission any more.
The book The Man who Died – The Man who came alive by Mario Perera is overtly a novel. Yet it is more than what it appears to be. The author depicts a different Jesus emerging from the tomb. The resurrected man now looks at himself as well as at life and after-life through different lenses.
During those three days in the burial vault a woman never leaves him when all others had abandoned him and fled. She anoints his body with the costliest herbal oils and perfumes hoping that he will return to life and to her. Her one desire is that her maternal womb be churned by his Spirit, the giver of the light that is life. The resurrected man is assailed by questions. He asks himself: did I really die? Am I like Jonah whom the whale of death refused to swallow and vomited out? He is furthermore haunted by the question about the purpose of his recall to life. Is it to continue as before or is it to tread another path?
The man who came alive adopts the name Isa. He no more wants to lead a life circumscribed by Sacred Writings called the Scriptures and ascribed to the Will of someone called ‘The Father’. Those Scriptures and that Will to which his life was irretrievably bound had destined him to die. He said he came to give life and give it abundantly. Yet it was the will of his father that his life be detruncated in the flower of his youth. This he can no more accept. In the throes of doubt he revisits his teachings and finds hidden meanings within them. They indicate a new direction he should take.
Isa watches anguished as the snowballing faith in an evasive resurrected Jesus takes a totally unsuspected course. He realizes that he can no more be a part of its historical evolution. I must go away, he decides. I must break off from a Father who willed my death. He then remembers all the women who loved him in life and asks himself: would a Mother-God or God the Mother, have willed the death of her child? And so he takes the Silk Route of yore and goes in search of a nation which worships God as Mother. His joy abounds when finally he reaches his destination. After a perilous and earth-shattering journey across the endless desert he had finally arrived in his Promised Land.
The man who died – The man who came alive is about the consequences that follow when a sublime person and his teachings are manipulated by aspirants to temporal and spiritual power. The book questions the issues dramatized by the religious institution claiming succession to Jesus. It asks whether they are really the ones that matter.