Kingdom of Happiness
“Why do you say such harsh things about our king, he seems to me a very good man, the best king our land has ever had” defended Sashwat, languidly.
“Best king ?” replied Shravana, the youngest philanthropist of Southern part Hindustan, “He is a better actor, than a king. He merely helps anyone in his kingdom. Sashwat, you work for him, don’t you? Has he done anything good for you in his era. Has he done anything good for the people?”
“What has he not done for his people? He has won as many battles as one can ever imagine. He has expanded the territory from east end to the west, from sea at the south to the red sand on the north. He has conquered every language we have heard off, and brought glory to our people. Isn’t this an achievement in itself, Shravana?” asked Sashwat.
“Your Lord, has conquered many lands”
“Don’t disrespect the king, Shravana, he is your king too” interjected Sashwat.
“Don’t misunderstand me, brother” replied Shravana, patiently trying to explain his words, “The Lord has won many battles, but lost the hearts of his people”
“What do you mean?” asked the elder brother, listening as a minister to the house of Lord.
“There are so many people in this land who work hard each day just to earn a decent meal. Why isn’t the Lord distributing his treasure to the people and free them from worry? Why is he making his own people earn their meal? I am sure he has enough treasure to fulfil everyone’s hunger for many summers, doesn’t he?”
“The Lord makes sure that no one sleeps empty stomach” replied the Minister with pride, “He has arranged food for the hungry and needy people 3 times a day. Isn’t it being managed properly? Let me know if there is any dishonesty or cunningness in the people managing the donation department or if they have disrespected anyone in this kingdom, and the regions which belong to the Lord.Mark my words, I will make sure that person is punished by the Lord”
“My dear brother” laughed the younger one,languidly, “Only disgusted people of this kingdom eat the food provided by the king”
“How dreadful you speak, brother. Your knowledgeon the matter is still incompetent” replied Shravana, the glib talker he was.
Days later, while the king was addressing his assembly, one of his ministers pointed the similar view as that of Sushwat. The furious Shravana walked to his younger brother after the assembly dispersed and demanded an explanation for his view to be prevalent.
“I have nothing to do with it” rejected the disgusted prince, “I heard it from one of the good people who was distributing jewels at the temple the other day”
“Why didn’t you disclose this earlier?” asked the suspicious elder brother, “You could have been in trouble if I had hinted about your involvement in the wide spreading of words against the king”
“I am not involved in any conspiracy, brother” replied the nervous lad, “but I know who is spreading the hatred. I can help you if you can corrupt me with some delicious fruits” the nervousness was converting to naughtiness.
The king was surprised to know that all the listed men were, at once, well-wishers of his people, and his empire. He was curious to know what had made them go against him. The king called for his guards and asked to collect the details of the people in the list, asked them to have a watch on each one of them for few days, and bring them to the king, if they are seen misguiding people.
Few days passed by and one fine day, the guards returned with the details of the activities which were carried out by the men in the list. In fact, he was astonished to learn that they were all working together. “Is it a new era? Should I not only fight with the people outside my kingdom, but also within?” he asked these questions to himself, before planning to sort the matter, in a new way.
“Invite everyone in the list for a dinner with me tomorrow evening” ordered the king, playing with his beard, sitting on his throne with a wicked smile on his face.
The next evening, everyone from the list had obliged to their king’s invite. They were in the palace long before the expected time, with confidence. They didn’t want to give even a single point to their king to go against them. They were prepared for a trial from the king. It wasn’t long before the king arrived, and everyone stood up in his respect.
“Please feel free, all of you. I am honored to have you all here” he said, before taking his seat and asking the rest of them to have their respective seats.
“The honor is all ours; my Lord” gestured Mahajan, standing on his feet, bowing to the king, “We are delighted to get an invite from the house, also equally curious. Have we done anything wrong, my Lord, which has upset you?” he asked, suspiciously.
“I have learnt about your recent development to make the people happy, Mahajan” replied the king, smiling, “How is the progress? Do more people like you now?”
“Yes, my Lord” replied Mahajan, with a fake smile, “I would not do it to get the love from the people, but rather do it because I love them, and this beautiful land”
“I am overwhelmed with the hard work you people are putting in to keep the people happy, Sir Mahajan” replied the king with huge smile, “I want to honor you people for theNobel work you are doing” He stood up, lifted a glass of red wine, and said “Cheers to you all, the philanthropists of this land. I wish that the god would bless this land with many people of your kind. Cheers..!!!”
“Cheers..!!” said all, before starting to have the most delicious food, with barrels of wine. They had the night to remember, like never before. They admired their king for the gratitude, but they knew that this feast didn’t show the good will of the king, but acted like the tease for the prey.
When everyone went back to their respective homes, Shravana asked his Lord “I am unable to understand the inappropriate behavior with your betrayers. Do you carry some sort of fear, My Lord?”
“Shravana” yelled the lord, “It was an inappropriate behavior, according to you, but I know exactly what I was doing”
“I sometimes don’t understand you, my Lord”
“When I was a prince, Shravana, my father once said a very right thing. He said that when someone hates you, you should love them so much that they forget their hatred”
“The bond shared with love is stronger than repulsion caused by hatred, my Lord” he said, before bowing to his king for permission to leave the chamber”
With every passing day, the hatred spread by the philanthropists increased, and so did their feasts with the king. Even after knowing their real face, the king dines with them, expecting for a change someday. After few more dinners, one of the philanthropists furiously, standing on his feet, and shouting loud as possible, “We don’t want anything from you today, if you have so much of treasure, why don’t you feed those poor?”
“Lower your voice for the king, Harwanya” warned Shravana.
“It is ok, Sir Shravana” interrupted the king, raising his hand to signal them to have a seat, “Dear Harwanya, if you have noticed, I am doing the same thing. I am feeding my people, who are helping me become a good king” replied the king, slowly getting up on his feet and walking towards Harwana, “You people feed the poor, and I feed you”
“Come out of this royal skinned face of your’s, and show us your dirty soul” replied Mahajan, “We know who you are. You feed us, so that we can spread good words about you in the people”
The king laughed, laughed and laughed, loud as he could, Shravana, laughed too, so did the rest of the people in the hall, “Mahajan, I know that you and your people are spreading hatred for me out there. I know everything you do. But what I also know is that, you people, the good people of our kingdom, won’t lookat happiness in the people, but you search for sadness. That is the gift from the GODs and I respect you people for that”
“Thank you for appreciating our work, my Lord” replied Mahajan, looking at the king like he was his Lord, “but appreciating us doesn’t solve the situation. You should also look at the wrong things around you, and act on it. You have to destroy the sadness from its roots”
“That is what I am trying to do, Sir Mahajan” smiled the king, trying to explain his point.
“But you fail, Lord Abhimanyu” broke Mahajan, “You can call us here, and try to learn our behavior, understand our culture”
“I don’t have to learn anything from you, Sir Mahajan. I have my own culture, which is different from yours. Even after knowing that you people hate me, I respect you. I know the sadness you people are spreading in the society, but I ignore it and concentrated on the good that you are teaching them.I ignore that you are filling the hearts of the people with hatred against me, but I am happy that at least this hatred, is uniting them. You people consider that giving them the money would solve their problem, but money doesn’t buy happiness, Sir Mahajan, money will kill you”
“These all are the reasons which you would make to avoid losing your treasure, isn’t it? My Lord”
The king was angry, but he smiled, with anger in his eyes for interrupting him, “This is what I wanted to bring into the notice, Sir Mahajan” replied the king, walking to and fro, “You people will never be happy if you see someone completely happy. You would be upset looking at them, because you would be annoyed to see someone happy, before you try hard to make him happy. You people can never be happy, unless you lend your help to make the person happy. Let me explain it in detail” he walked close to Mahajan, “By trying hard to be the philanthropist, you are becoming misanthropist. There is no need to try hard to become a good person, being imperfect is fine. Make sure that in the process of desperately trying to spread happiness, you won’t spread sadness”
“How dare you put such a harsh remark on us” yelled Harwanya, “We live among the people of this kingdom, we know their needs, and their problems. We whole heartedly help them, my Lord. You want to overshadow our work by a feast every week, but we will fight if needed to protect our names. You may overshadow our work, Lord Abhimanyu, but you can never be like us.”
“I would never want to be like you people, Harwanya” replied the anguished Lord, “You are overshadowing my work for months now; Mahajan, but I didn’t mind it. If I were you, I could have killed you to protect my name, but I am not you. I am king of this land, and I know what is correct and what is wrong. I want to spread happiness, but not sadness in my kingdom” he said, walking down to his chair and having a seat.
All the philanthropists on the table felt guilty of not trusting their king. Unknowingly, they were betraying their own lord. “We are sorry for our mistake, my lord. Please forgive us” pleaded Mahajan.
“If we were really concerned about the wellness of the people, we should have come to you with the problem, my Lord. Please forgive our mistake” said Harwanya, before getting the smile back on the face of the king, who was happy that he has succeeded in replacing the hatred with love.
– Shiv Kumar Thakur