The Poet and the Emperor | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 11, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 11, 2017

The Poet and the Emperor

Translated by Gulshan Ara Kazi

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The Emperor became disillusioned &frustrated

Renowned poets of the country gathered in king's court

To read inspiring verses to him

One poet, elegantly attired with gold button shirt, said in a deep voice

O, the great emperor, I have composed a ballad

Highlighting the glamour and heroism of your ancestors

You sure will regain your self esteem

And rule India with full confidence

Entire court room resonated with loud applause and ovation

As a reward, the poet received one hundred gold coins 

Then came a poet with long curly hair

Wearing velvet cap and ornamented outfit and said

O the honorable one, the great god of India

I have composed the most amazing verses for you

You will feel burst of anger in each verse

And your desire for revenge will surpass your sense of frustration

King's court shuddered with loud applause

And he was awarded two thousand gold coins

Then came a poet wearing silk attire and a cap embroidered with precious stones

Wearing eye color and deer skin sandal 

He came trampling rhythmically playing a musical bell and said

O the greatest emperor, the king of the solar system

I have composed the most amazing verses for you 

Which will make your war drum play aloud, not stop

And you will be forever un-conquerable

Ear piercing uproar and applause reverberated

Poet's feet was flooded with three thousand gold coins

At last entered a poet pacing slowly

Humbly dressed, wearing white turban

With pensive look he said

O the honorable emperor, I spent many sleepless nights, 

But could not come up with any verse which might please you

I failed, please forgive me the great emperor

Creepy silence shrouded the entire assembly room

Emperor was bewildered and speechless

Much later, it was known

The poet was Mirza Ghalib

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