Discourse of a Father

Mukta Singh-Zocchi

A Monologue by Mukta Singh-Zocchi

Mehrauli 1231 AD .
Prince! I have come to your house to talk with you. Pray, let me in.
I, the Sultan of Hindustan, the exalted Emperor, the shadow of God over the world, the elect by the mercy of the Almighty, Abul Muzaffar Iltutmish, carry a terrible weight on my shoulders. Relieve me of this burden by letting me in! For when I am in, I leave the Sultanate and its concerns at the threshold.
I realize matters of the State keep us preoccupied and we have but little time for each other. Let us therefore keep the sands of time from draining for a while; sit here near me and tell me, how have you been?
Ah! How delightful the sky is from your pavilion!
And now the moon shows me the pavilion has some charm too!
What a paradise you have set up for yourself, son!
Now listen, this very moon in the sky was in my arms the day that you were born and given to me. It was a day when I made a thousand promises … for you inspired me to touch new heights. You renewed my convictions and infused in me fresh fervor. Your birth uplifted the most sublime ideas in me. I vowed to achieve all that a man can ever dream of. And I took an oath I would instruct you and train you and make you the man of my visions.
And since the Most High Almighty had predestined that the states of Hindustan should come under the shadow of my guardianship, in the years that followed, my incessant toil and burning faith bore fruit in giving shape to this Empire, and I was raised to its throne. No longer a slave, I possessed the skies, and dreamt of still more.
As for you, you exceeded all expectations. Handsome, intelligent, sensible and sagacious … Nature had already bequeathed you with these gifts at your birth – as befits a prince. As you grew to manhood you were endowed with great strength and courage. You performed numerous admirable actions; your military laurels and sensitive ways brought you great distinction. You charmed the people and all had their eyes upon you – their hero.
Life has just begun for you son. There is so much to learn, much ground to cover. Ask me tonight about life! I know a thing or two about it, oh yes. Definitely a lot more than the men we see around us. For am I not the most illustrious of them all?
Life is a game that many aspire to win. I am a winner, for sure, but Victory is that demanding princess who wants no modest sacrifices before coming to you. Oh yes, I paid a great price to wear her crown. Only God knows what blood we shed to hunt down the infidel foes, and with what ruthless grit we struck whenever rebellions brewed. This splendid land was ours, liberated from those non-believing oppressors – only after we drenched it with their gore and no small amount of ours. The Almighty God is witness to the humble patience with which I sustained every dreary blow just to preserve all that I had attained.
Do not think that I begrudge my efforts or the losses I bore, for I am proud of my actions and accomplishments. Everything that I did, I did to protect what I cared most for – my faith, my name and my progeny. These are the things that give man the resolve to play the game and win it.
Life has taught me that disgrace comes easily, and glory requires great efforts. But son, bear in mind that you count your losses no more – no one remembers them anymore – if in the end you bathe in the sunshine of Victory. Success follows not far behind her sister and the smile that she shines on you is the sweetest that you can ever hope for.
My moon, in this world, nothing succeeds like the success of a man!
But now, my game is drawing to an end. The crowd is jubilant, I am their esteemed champion, and in this, my closing chukker, they know I am seeking you, to take my steed and hit the final goal. They understand an old man’s need to see his son replicate his style. A man’s deepest wish is for the progeny to build where he left and reaffirm all he stood for.
So here we are, waiting for you to take charge. But the restive crowd stands in mummified silence, Fate herself stands embarrassed wringing her hands, and an old man looks down crestfallen, for you come not!
You will not come, we all know. For, the moon that was sent to me from the heavens lies in his youthful, lanky form, under the cold marble slab of this pavilion. And I come here from time to time, at the dusk of my life, winner and Emperor, just to talk with you and evaluate the meaning of my success.

Bio: I am a writer, scriptwriter and a publisher. I have written two novels - "The Thugs and a Courtesan" (2014) and "Game of Big Numbers" (2018). I write short stories, primarily historical fiction. I manage the Hindi literary magazine ekalpana and ekalpana Kitab Publishers.
Address: 3544 Maplewood Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90066
Email : mszocchi@gmail.com   phone : 310-3910616
website: www.muktasinghzocchi.com

No comments :

Post a Comment

We welcome your comments related to the article and the topic being discussed. We expect the comments to be courteous, and respectful of the author and other commenters. Setu reserves the right to moderate, remove or reject comments that contain foul language, insult, hatred, personal information or indicate bad intention. The views expressed in comments reflect those of the commenter, not the official views of the Setu editorial board. प्रकाशित रचना से सम्बंधित शालीन सम्वाद का स्वागत है।