Long back once, a King decreed:
A ship be built, and mighty tall.
The greatest of all builders came
Unto the port upon his call.
“Let this be the jewel of th’ crown
Of all ancient gods of Sea,
And an envy for those Kings
Who this lavish splendor see.
Carve out in the best of woods
All my forefathers, each god.
Send ’em out in th’ mighty ship,
Watch it on this water plod.”
“Thirty canons, yes, My King?”
“Fifty – nay – a hundred more.”
“Hundred, your majesty?! But
Do stop this madness, I implore!
This is far beyond all reason – “
Said that builder. “Do not speak
Another word,” the King replied
And the builder’s tongue was meek,
So he chose to hush his mind,
As perplexed and lost it was.
And the mighty ship was built,
And brought out to much applause.
Every nation on its feet, then,
Every citizen on their toes.
“I’m not sure – ” the builder said,
The King did hear him, standing close,
And did throw a glance at him,
And he did appear displeased.
Then he turned and raised a hand,
And the ship on the water eased.
All the citizens, everyone
Hailed the King and did celebrate
Except for the builder, who
Much uncertain, watched in wait
Until just some mighty blow
Of that summer’s wind came in,
Knocking down the mighty ship
And three hundred men therein.
Several nations watched in awe,
And a King in horror, too,
And the glory drowned before
Anyone knew what they could do.
After one long silent hour,
The King stood up, wiped a brow
And declared “This utter lack
Of hope and faith, I can’t allow.
We must try, and try we will
And one greater ship than this
Will sail out unafraid and proud,
Into an endless sea of bliss.
Will it not,” he asked the builder
“And will sail the upon the seas
Of the most turbulent waters
With most unprecedented ease?”
“Sure it will! Why not, my King?”
Said that man, his head hung low,
“May you build the best of ships,
For after all, what do I know?”
©Gautam Sahay.

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