Friday, November 9, 2012

The Diabolical Rajah of Jaipur

[The Sorcerer and the Rajah]

          Palace of the Winds in Jaipur, India

Baklha, the adopted son of the Sultan of Jaipur, had a ruthless disposition by nature, was impressed with the luxury that his father surrounded his youthful life with. Cruel and deviant and malicious, he was despised by his countrymen; and, for that reason was to the contrary of his step-father, who was wise as an owl and could be generous—so he was thus called: the   foolish lamb.   
       Rajah Baklha was a lover of wine, women and twilight: and let us not forget the deep roots of enchantment or the black arts.   His step-father in spite of all his efforts to tame his son’s spirit continued his course of mendacity, and invidious behavior.

       At about this time there came a soothsayer: a necromancer, he was said to have learned his black arts from an ancient Mu-men of the old continent known as Lemur, in the Pacific, he came into what is known as The Pink City, for the city was all painted of that color, as well as the legendary Palace of the Winds, with its beautiful façade for all to adore in the mornings, and at night, all to curse as one stepped over beast and humankind alike, sleeping side by side, on the grass beside the palace, and roadside; poverty was prevalent. And so it was, the sorcerer made his presence known throughout the city, as he showed his skill in spells, and fortunes, and herbs, healing and telling of future events to be for money and goods, a barter he was; all of India had none better than he.  He traveled from Delhi, to Agra and onto Jaipur, on an elephant’s head, and when he made his appearance, he was greeted with the high respect.
       The Rajah, hearing of his arrival within the city made haste to have his company by sending a servant to find him, and set up a meeting.  The sorcerer was in his own right a warlock, of the most renowned.
       The servant having cast his eyes upon the sorcerer, simply could not digest his presence: that this person was he the very man, the  great man everyone talked about, that he looked as he looked, and he looked: feeble, short in figure, a little portly: also, humble and soft spoken, with a curve to his smile, thin lipped, and legs, scrawny legs, and an eeriness to his pointed head.  
       Then after a moment’s observation, with little doubt, the servant knew he was the necromancer, oh yes, yes, it was not at first obvious, but now it fit, somehow it fit; it was a jest for hidden laughter. His eyes of amber, warlock eyes, vanishing as you looked at him like blown-out flames. And a needled coldness to his presence, like a glacier receding. He took his hand, as they greeted one another, directing him to where the young Rajah was, and saying:
       “I am the servant of the Rajah Baklha, and he has sent me here to make arrangements, and payment if need be for your services.  He wishes to know what lies ahead.”
       “Oh yes! Awa, yes, I wish to serve him, I have heard of his scarlet runaway temper, and his demonic like strains of malefic-behavior, much likened to mine when I was young and foolish.  But I am old, even though I may look younger, I am old, very old, with the capability of a long forecast for those who see it, and yes, I can help him. I have the hand of Kama, the god of love, and Lakshmi, and Kartikeya, the war-gods, son of Agni.”
       And the servant looked deeper at this person—no longer in jest, but with falcon-eyes, for now he seemed to have as much evil in him as good: who’s to say? 
       Like a serpent gliding by on his stomach in the thick of the tall grass, the Soothsayer’s eyes scanned the premises, his body moved with ease, as they withdrew to see the Rajah immediately.

Within a palace room, sat the Sorcerer and the Rajah both sat across from one another—it was as the Rajah preferred it—
       The room was dark and gloomy, the Sorcerer started reciting ancient incantations in a forgone and peculiar tongue uncommon for the understanding of the Rajah; chants that seemed to sew drifting loose threads together, vapor like threads, tying vapors into thicker and thicker threads, until it became rope-like, and from that a bluish aurora filled the  air, and among them, shifting shadows as if someone or something was shape-shifting within these once loose threads that now were ropes and now were shapes of beings, like shadowy ghosts: thus, thought the Rajah out loud: “What is my future,” but said nothing of the occurrence taking place; in essence they were the visions to take place.
       Said the Sorcerer, in a smoothing slow, and calm like voice: “Three diamonds, two rubies, and one large gold coin, which will do for my payment.”
       The Rajah looked strange upon the Sorcerer, for he had asked exactly what was in his pockets; hence, he pulled out the items and handed them to the seer, owing nothing thereafter.
       Consequently, both remained seated, facing one another, as they had continued in a silent manner for several more minutes, as the shape-shifting ghosts their images came and left—came closer to the wall of the room, then left, as if it was penetrating the wall, then left. From that, visions came onto the wall, like a movie: people being killed, city walls gates, buildings, and temples, all falling: wars and more wars and more killings, happening. 
       The Rajah did not manage to decipher these images, nor cared to, said nothing as if he were bored and waiting for a translation by the Seer.
       “The visions, or images  you’ve seen on the wall, are locations within the sub-continent of India which have come and gone, and those yet to be are of your province,” said the Sorcerer with a tangy tone to his voice, waiting for the Rajah to say something.
       Then suddenly a vapor appeared, and molded into a thulium-shadow, with forms that were—seemingly—trying to grab at the Rajah, with a shadow of a knife; it was appeased when the young Rajah leaned back into his chair, henceforward, the threat disappeared.
       At this moment, the prince gave the seer his grievances and demanded he focus on him and his future, his empire to be, no more funny business with images coming and going and trying to frighten him. 
       Now having seen the future mixed with the past, and the Rajah no wiser than when he had sat down, not noticing the visions on the wall were of his kingdom city, his province once the Sultan had passed on, the sorcerer stood up, presented his petition: that should he let the Rajah live he would do a big injustice for the city and the province, and his step-father, the Sultan, of whom was to become ill, and the throne given to him—that he would destroy all his step-father had worked for—to include a lasting peace. The Sorcerer had seen this within the empires that had come and gone within the vapor-shadows on the wall, that being the Rajah’s future, which the Rajah had no time to acknowledge, as if waiting for the victory sign so he could go ahead and prepare for the glory of another war. 
       “These are your doings, the wars to be, the turmoil in the city,” said the Sorcerer pulling out a knife from his tunic, unexpectedly, and he stabbed the Rajah to death; at that very moment the old Sultan had walked through the door and said, “Job well done,” having already seen his future, and paid him a handsome ransom, now knowing the future was no longer in the hands of the Rajah.

Notes: written July, 2004 © D.L. Siluk (This story has been lost for eight years, recently discovered and reedited, 10-2012). Originally written for: Vasudev Murthy (the story was never published, or even put onto the internet). In 1997, the author took a trip to India, and seen all locations mentioned to include the “Palace of the Winds” in Jaipur mentioned in this fictional short story. The story was originally called “The Rajah of Jaipur,” and was changed to “The… Rajah of Lucklow,” and now has come back to its original name, “The Diabolical Rajah of Jaipur,” the Pink City.