Dear Vishnu

From God Loves Hair


They say Your skin is blue because You are infinite like the sky and the ocean of milk You rest on. I wish my skin was blue. Brown is boring, it blends into the dirt or concrete background. So I draw on my hands and arms with a blue ink pen. My teacher says that I can get ink poisoning but this only inspires me to draw more for I have heard that it was drinking poison that turned Lord Shiva’s skin dark blue.

I want to be a modern version of You. I would wear a peacock feather in my hair like You, maybe use my mom’s curling iron to match Your wavy locks and get my ears pierced. But my four arms would carry a walkman, a book, a candle and an apple. There should be a “Take Your Believer to Work Day” so I can study You in action, ask questions and take notes. I am jealous of Goddess Lakshmi, Your consort, for the eternity she gets to spend by Your side. Does she know how lucky she is? If You smile, she shares it. If You speak, she hears it. It’s not fair that only one can be so close.

When my mom prays, she becomes stiff as though one wrong gesture could displease You and result in her losing her job or worse, having to be reborn. I wish she knew the version of You that I know, the one whose adventures and victories I read about in my Amar Chitra Katha comic books. You are The Protector, the one that the demigods rush to in times of crisis. They are instantly soothed by the sight of You, decorated with flowers and gold, and Your compassionate counsel. Countless evil demons are slayed by Your mighty chakra or bow and arrow but You always appear calm, never angry, as though even destruction is an act of love. How do You do it? Sometimes there is a fire in me and when it comes out, it’s never as pretty.

Maybe it’s the blue that keeps You cool. If only I were blue.