The human condition is temporary, ephemeral. This can be beautiful envisaged by a short story, read along.
There was once a king ‘Gyanendra’ who lived and ruled in the serene valley of Kashmir, a long time ago. The kingdom was growing its borders, the coffers were full, the subjects were happy, no imminent threat loomed at the doors of the Valley. The King had a loyal wife, two healthy sons, and three pretty daughters. The Kingdom had a huge disciplined army and trustworthy generals and ministers. The Kingdom was at the epitome of prosperity. Still, the King was not happy. He called upon his ministers.
The Wise Men were confused. Why would the King call us at such a time, when even the court was not in session, they discussed amongst themselves. All the Ministers reached the palace on the set date. They took their seats and the King was informed of their arrival. The Durban exclaimed – “All rise.” The Mighty King had arrived at Court. The Wise Men were waiting anxiously. The King seemed different, he had grown weak. He had dark circles under his blue eyes as if he was insomniac from the last decade. There was dead silence all over. Everyone’s eyes ad ears were fixed at the King. Finally, he broke his silence and started to speak. He said- “I have everything a man could ever desire for.” He went silent again.
“I want you to find me something.”, he continued. The Men were still in the dark, they didn’t understand what was happening. The King added “Even I have everything, I feel scared. I feel that I might lose everything.” He continued to enumerate on his fears. The King was fearful that he might lose his Kingdom to attacks, his family to disease, and his wealth to famines. He wanted his Ministers to find him something to motivate him through his thick and thin. His good and his bad. He added- “Find me what I desire, you have a month’s time. Or I will execute all of you. Go on.”
The King signaled the Durban. “The court is dismissed, All rise.”- the Durban shouted. The King left the Men in utter dismay.
All of the Men decided to go in all directions to find this ‘thing’. Some went to the North, some south. Some to faraway cities, some to villages. The time went away quickly. The looked at different scripts, old testaments, paintings, weapons, animals. But couldn’t find it. The ‘thing’ was nowhere to be found. The Wisemen with an approaching deadline set back for the Kingdom, in hopes of convincing the King to get more time. It was then, they stumbled upon an old sage in the mountains of Karakoram. One of the Wise Men started telling him his plight. “We are worried”- he said. The hermit advised them to go to the Kingdom of Persia. He said – “In the Pyramids of Persia, meet Abid the Royal Jeweller, you may find what you are looking for.” The Wise Men hurriedly left and stopped nowhere till they reached the bazaars of Persia. Upon inquiring they found Abid’s workshop. Upon hearing their requirement, he handed them a ring. The Men immediately rushed to the Valley. After a treacherous journey, they reached the Kingdom just a day before the last date.
They called upon the King. Till now the whole Kingdom knew about the King’s order. The courtroom was filled with citizens of the capital. The Wise men filled their seats. The King arrived, leaner than ever before. He asked the Ministers to furnish what he had asked for. The Prime Minister stood and handed him a wooden box. The King opened it instantly. In the box, there was a small ring. The King was furious as much as he was confused. He didn’t understand. He asked them how could this ring possibly motivate him to go on. The Wise Men replied in unison- “Read the engraving.”
On the ring stood the words این نیز بگذرد (This too shall pass).
‘This too shall pass’ is a sentence, which in every view, is true and appropriate in all times and situations.
“How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!”
It reflects on the temporary nature, or ephemerality, of the human condition. The Human condition oscillates from bad to good, good to bad. Nothing is permanent.