The royal courtroom of Avanti was nothing short of a spectacle.
The high raised ceiling was graced with the finest artwork depicting winged angels that protected the sun, moon and sixteen planets; the heavy chandeliers spread magnificent light which was accentuated by the curtains of gold silk; the sixteen golden statues dedicated to the six-handed God named Atulya stood majestically around the giant hall, yet none of this diminished the presence of His Majesty Raja Suraathana Tanipur – the ruler of a kingdom which was considered to be the backbone of Bharata.
Regally bearded, the strong, giant man was dressed in the finest of white silks, cotton and gold. The thick flowing white hair was a perfect cushion to the imperial crown. The medallions of honor that once worn by his predecessors were now his to bear, and none dared to question whether he was remotely worthy of them. The aisle that led to him, a pathway covered with petals of roses, had over a hundred Mantris or ministers seated on either side. The chairs they were seated on possessed a shine akin to yellow sapphires, but the men bore the stench of lies, hypocrisy and redundancy.
“Reports of enemy sightings are increasing by the day, Your Majesty,” a minister spoke.
“They poach on the weak, Your Majesty. You will not see this Hayacree within five hundred miles of our walls.”
“Your Majesty, the townships of Sabhyishta and Kalek send pittances for taxes these days. Maybe they should burn a little…”
All but for one sat silently amongst the council of ministers. The frail, graying man would not have been noticed amidst the pompous rest. With a hand to his white beard, he gazed at his king with inconsolable eyes.
‘Who is to be blamed for the kingdoms that fall…’