“What is the price that you are willing to pay for immortality, Sultan?”, asked the Fakir.
“Whatever it takes, Oh Learned One! I have everything I need, except immortality. And immortality it is that I want”, replied the Sultan.
“Why do you want immortality, Sultan?”, asked the Fakir.
“Because one life time is not enough to spend all the wealth I have. And, because I want to enjoy all the good things that the world has to offer.”, replied the Sultan.
“What will you do once you have spent all your wealth and enjoyed all the good things that the world has to offer, dear Sultan? Because, it will be you who will be an immortal! Everything else comes with an expiry date. What will you do?”, asked the Fakir.
There was silence in the room…
The Fakir broke the silence and said, “But, I have a way to make you an immortal. You may die, but you will live on, through your deeds. You have so much wealth, utilise it to help the people in need. And as the head of the state, make sure that justice prevails. Be a peoples’ King, Sultan! That way, you may die, but you will live on in the heart of your subjects.”
It was a summer afternoon, and as the Fakir walked out, cool breeze entered the room. It was a sign of changing times. The Sultan had finally found a way to become an immortal.
DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental.
In frame: The tomb of Sultana Ahmed, wife of Bahmani Sultan Ahmad Shah-Al-Wali in Ashtur village, near Bidar, Karnataka, India. The Persian blue tiles on the upper reaches of the tomb are very well preserved, having stood the test of time for close to six centuries.
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© Amrit Panigrahy. All rights reserved.