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      /  Literature   /  Kheer


    English Translation: Maryam Baluch

    Once upon a time, when a king of a country passed away, two sardars (court-chiefs) engaged into a drawn-out dispute over power. One said he should be made king, another one stressed that it was his turn to be the king.

    When they did not come to a decision, the rest of the chiefs called for a settlement.

    A judge suggested that whoever reached the gate of the courtroom first the following day would be made King.

    The next morning, both the sardars along with other chiefs rushed to the court gate and saw a poor man in old, ripped clothes and begging bowls and crutches standing at the gate door. The judge’s ruling was evident : the poor man was to be King, and not the two sardars. The poor man was crowned King as per the judge’s ruling the following day.

    Some time passed and one of the two sardars said that he was not going to accept under any circumstances the rule of a strange and poor man and that he would go to the war against the new King and defeat him and take over the kingdom of the country.

    The courtiers informed the King that one of the sardars had planned to dethrone him and is conspiring to take over his kingdom.

    The King dismissed it as not a non-issue and told the courtiers to make kheer [efn_note]Kheer is the name of rice pudding in Urdu .[/efn_note].

    The courtiers duly prepared kheer for the King and courtiers.

    The courtiers reported that the sardar had surrounded the palace with his army. The king told the courtiers to make more kheer, and the king and the courtiers ate kheer again.

    Sardar attacked the king’s army with his army and defeated them and prepared himself to infiltrate the king’s court.

    The King insisted on cooking more kheer. The courtiers became emotional and questioned him : “what kind of King you are, there has been a mutiny against you! Your kingdom is about to fall and your subjects are being brutally killed by the enemy and you are still telling us to make kheer?”

    The King raised his voice and said that, “I am not any king, I have come to this alien land as a poor beggar. I have come to the King’s court to beg for some kheer and eat and you foolish people have made me a King. I have eaten the kheer already and I am leaving for my country. It’s your job to know what to do with your country.”

    With this statement, he descended from his throne and ran towards the door.

    Note: This has been taken from the Urdu stories.