Once upon a time there was a Sardar who lived in a far off kingdom. The Sardar was very rich and influential, and was good friends with the Badshah. He owned may huge estates all across the country and he lived in his home town of Rasiqabaad, with his wife and child. The Sardar was a generally jolly sort of man who loved music and singing to an obsessive degree. He would regularly pay lots of money to bards to have them come and stay at his estate.
Now, it just so happened that the Sardar’s latest bard had started to bore him, as he had already heard all his songs multiple times. He wanted a new bard but there were practically no good ones left across the whole kingdom who had not spent a stint in his home already. The Sardar was unhappy about this and was contemplating this dilemma while lounging on his mangi in the shade of a mango tree.
One of the Sardar’s servants announced the Arrival of Umer Maahirvanni, one of the Sardars closest friends and a fellow music enthusiast. “How are you today, Tahir Sahib?!” called out Umer as he walked over to join his friend on the mangi. The servants had efficiently set up a place for him in advance and he sank down with the ease of long familiarity. “Everything is fine,” Replied Sardar Tahir, “but I am getting tired of this bard, and I do not know who to hire next.” he continued despondently.
“Well, this was a problem that was bound to come up with how quickly you get bored; you must have gone through all the bards in the kingdom already!” said Umer in an amused tone. “At this point there are no good bards left, why you might as well have your servants sing instead!” Umer laughed at his own jab.
Meanwhile Sardar Tahir was electrified with an idea and wide unsettling grin appeared on his face. “Why Umer, what a splendid idea!” he replied, smiling manically. He then turned and shouted to the first servant he saw, who was carrying a pail of water somewhere, “You there, gather up all the servants in the house!”
The servant stopped in his tracks and putting down the pail, bowed and said, “Yes, my Lord! At once my lord.” Then he ran off to do the Sardar’s bidding. Soon every servant in the house was gathered in front of the Sardar and his friend in neat rows, several of them looking like they had been pulled away in the middle of a chore.
“This an order to all you, from now on until I tell you to stop every one of you must speak to me or my family only in song and rhyme. If anyone disobeys, then they will face my wrath!” He declared with finality. The servants were all very confused and Umer was laughing his head off. Over the next few weeks the Sardar ended up firing five servants and executing four more due to his edict. Another three quit of their own accord, unable to deal with the insanity anymore. This left the Sardar with only one personal servant and a handful of others. The Sardar was stubborn however and did not retract his order.
A year passed and the household had mostly gotten used to singing everything in the Sardar’s presence.
When his personal servant Abdullah came to wake him for day, Abdullah sang,
“My Lord, My Lord,
The rooster cries,
It is time to rise,
The day has begun,
You must rise with the sun.”
In this way all his servants sang as they served him each singing of their own duties. The cook singing what was for breakfast,
Eggs and ham today,
Nicely arranged on a pretty tray,
Jasmine teas as well,
Can’t you just smell?
The taste will be swell.”
The stable hands singing about the horses,
“My lord, my lord,
We swept the stable well,
So that there is no Smell,
The sable horse is new,
The stable master bought it just for you!”
The laundry maids singing about washing clothes,
“My lord, my lord,
We did as you said,
We washed every thread,
Your clothes are very clean,
And they smell like a French bean!”
The Sardar was very pleased with his idea and he was having fun with it. He ruthlessly ordered any servant who broke the rules to get lashed 20 time s with a whip and executed repeat offenders.
One day a disaster occurred in the Sardars home while he was out, his two year old son had bumped into the candelabra in the nursery and set the whole house on fire. Everyone was running around trying to put it out and when the Sardar came home he was greeted at the door by Abdullah.
“My lord, Oh my lord!
The house is on fire,
Inside and out,
The situation is dire,
There is no doubt.
Your wife and son are inside,
On the east side,
And though we have tried
To prevent their demise,
The going is tough,
We are not quite up to snuff!”
The Sardar was quite horrified and frustrated at the singing, he yelled at his servant. The servant replied in verse that he did not want to be killed for disobeying orders. The Sardar then understood that this was his Karma for placing such unfair orders.
In the end his family was saved by his servants and the Sardaar repealed his unfair orders and payed reparations to those servants he had wronged.
Sardar – Land Lord
Badshah – King
Maangi – a four poster woven bed frame.