The Royal Palace

Once upon a time, there was a great king. He was very powerful and prosperous. So he built a huge palace for himself and his 76 queens. It was a magnificent palace of gold, silver, and precious stones. It was the most beautiful building in the whole of the world. Other kings were jealous of this king\’s palace and were in awe of its beauty. People used to travel hundreds of miles to come and have a glimpse of this palace. But then, one day, the king became ill. He became weak and could no longer rule. The princes killed the king and fought among themselves. One of them emerged the most powerful after killing all his siblings and crowned himself the king.

The next day he called the royal architect and told him, \”You\’re an incompetent fool, a nincompoop! You don\’t know design from horse dung! You don\’t know how to design buildings or palaces! This palace has been made unprofessionally. I want a rework. No, I want to break this palace down and build a new one! Bring me new designs, show me new schedules, give me fresh budgets! But this aberration must go!\”

The royal architect was shocked and disheartened. He said,\”But sire, it took 21 years to build this palace, it is the most beautiful palace in the world! People from far and wide come to see this magnificent structure. They sing praise of our kingdom and its king. How can you call this heavenly palace ugly?\”

The king replied,\”Because now I am the King, and what I say is the truth. Do as I say and you\’ll be richer than you can ever imagine. If you refuse, I\’ll decimate your entire clan.\”

The royal architect learned his lesson and decided to rebuild. At least he retained his head and his job.

Published by Anupam Choudhury

I'm a writer, editor, and blogger from New Delhi, India.

2 thoughts on “The Royal Palace

  1. though the tone of the story is naturally inclined to be sympathetic to the erstwhile king this a contrarian thought which I have: Had there been no new \”powerful king\” the magnificent palace would one day anyway turned into a dilapidated ruin with nothing to replace it … so the beautiful things always lie on the ashes of some decayed or decaying magnificence!


  2. I agree with your comment that the \’grand\’ today will eventually lie in ruins. But I intended this piece to be sympathetic towards the architect, the designer, the worker–the person who build it with his own hands, sweat and blood. Most times, he is the person who is most attached to his work. Just imagine the frustration of the worker when a change of regime changes the outlook towards your work–the whole arbitrariness of it! This is something we face often in our offices. The new king makes the rules. The king is dead; long live the king.


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