Initiate dream sequence, since its an unforgiving winter’s day outside…
My sister and I were lounging lazily under the shade of a brilliant green palm leaf, our feet dipped in the crystal blue green pond, staring up at the sky. Since it was a tropical forest, the sun seemed to be on full beam, and the mellow sunshine made us sleepy and sluggish.
All of a sudden we heard the clattering of hooves as a group of horses with their riders galloped towards us, the Maharajah’s army of slaves. They stopped respectfully at a good distance from us, wished us salaam and proceeded to inform us, their princesses, that our father was considering two new additions for our palace zoo. One was the Arctic Fox, and the second, slightly unpopular one was the Phoenix Now why was this magical bird unpopular? Because the princes in the surrounding palaces had taken care of several and found the constant burning smell, singed feathers and repeated new births quite cumbersome. However my sister and I were fierce risk takers and so we chose the golden phoenix.
It arrived duly the next day, and we went to visit it. It was the most beautiful bird we’d ever seen, and so we immediately named it Scheherazade, the name conjuring up ancient images of sultans and night magic. I won’t say we didn’t regret the decision sometimes. The baby phoenix would get lonely sometimes and we’d have to traipse all over the palace to bring it into our bedroom. Since the palace had a good 500 rooms, this was no easy task, especially since the guard tigers started growling when they heard us prowling around. But we persevered. Scheherazade would need constant reassurance, and cleaning and fire extinguishers.Choosing the unpopular choice brought us some difficulty, but in the end, it was worth it. Everyone has their struggles with choices, even rich Indian princesses.