know your neighbour

The Emperor’s Experiment

Posted by chimeki on November 24, 2016

The emperor checked the temperature with a long thermometer and poured the transparent liquid in the heated beaker. An acidic smell filled the hall. Entering the nostrils of the courtiers it quickly froze into crystals. All gasped for breath.

‘I think something good will come out of it’, he said more to himself than to his ministers.

‘Yes Yes’, they nodded in agreement.

He turned to them and smiled. He had a divine smile, a sign which said that everything was good in the empire as long as he was at the helm. Like wit his smile too was rare. Until he became the emperor, people made stories about his always serious face.

‘He doesn’t smile because his front teeth are missing’, one would say.

‘No no his mouth stinks’, the other argued.

‘Nonsense, he is a strong man’, the third corrected.

‘Oh yes, oh yes’, all agreed.

modi-pmThat day emperor was in good mood and, for a change, he sought counsel of his ministers. ‘Now tell me what if one day I make a mistake and my experiment fails?’, he asked them.

‘You can never make a mistake’, said his ministers.

‘How kind of you, my comrades. But anyway tell me without fear or hesitation of any kind what if one day I really make a mistake’, he asked smiling. Nothing is a greater threat than an emperor in a happy mood.

‘You can never make a mistake’, all said louder.

‘You people are very very generous to me but I really want you all to tell me frankly what if one day I, myself, tell you that I have made a mistake’, he said.

‘You can never make a mistake’, all said in the loudest of their voice. The beaker and the chandelier over it shook as if an earthquake had struck. The emperor smiled and removed the safety goggles he was wearing over his glasses and unbuttoned the apron. Once a white apron had changed into yellow a long back and now it was fading back to his original color. ‘Will it again become as white as it was when I bought it a year ago?’ the emperor often thought. Once he even made a note in his Diary of Experiments: WHAT COLOR DOES WHITE COLOR FADE INTO?

‘Ok now tell me what do you think of my new experiment?’ he asked turning to his almost bald minister.

‘Something good will come out of it’, the minister replied scratching his nose of crystals.

‘What do you say?’ he asked the other minister.

The minister gulped the spit and said, ‘something good will come out of it.’

‘Ok then,I must go and announce the success of my new experiment to the people of our land’, the emperor said and left for his personal studio from where he delivered his regular radio talks on his vision for the nation. Lately, he had made hearing of these talks mandatory for all the government employees and his ministers and during meetings asked questions based on them.

‘In my last talk I said something about hygiene.’

‘Yes my lord, you said we should work hard to make our nation clean’.


‘And you said cleanliness is godliness’.


‘And… and… and…’

‘30 lashes’, the emperor announced.

As soon as the emperor announced his experiment the people knew that something good would come out of it. The government and private news channels showed that people were themselves doing the emperor’s experiment in their leisure time, which they now had plenty, in their houses and offices. Wherever the government radio and private news channels went they found people telling them, ‘something good will come out of it’.

A week after, the ministers told the emperor that people were very grateful to him for experimenting and wished him more such ideas. They said the emperor should experiment on daily basis. ‘They are ready for small inconveniences’, told the almost bald minister scratching his nose.

The emperor smiled.

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