Archer looked at the city, very few were privileged to have this view. The upper balcony was for the king of kings, it had everything that the empire had wanted to convey to the world at large, grand yet simple, intricate but not extraordinary. The upper balcony was in fact a very ordinary name, the original name of course was lost in the fires that raged the city now and again, the company men could only come up with names such as ‘left court’, ‘right court’, ‘main corridor’ and ‘upper balcony’.
The lack of imagination of the company men deeply troubled the Shahenshah, a title he could still use officially; he was glad that he was not forced to use some governmental title such as “ex-emperor”.
“But then what is in a name, Archer? History that is recorded is without excitement” asked the Shahenshah, it was one of the questions that the Sultan posed to the open sky and to the vast city that stretched across the plains, as far as his eyes could see.
Two sets of eyes.
Archer maintained the silence which he had now learned to observe, the night was becoming slightly more philosophical for his liking.
But the silence had served Archer well, an unofficial list of most powerful men in the company presently had put Archer in the third place, right below the resident at Delhi and the viceroy; this had been the most pleasing news in the past week for Archer especially after months of trying to stop a rebellion on one hand and attending his uncle who had been tied to his bed or in other words his disease for the past so many years.
The thought of the list brought a smile to Archer’s face, and thought had taken him up and away from the upper balcony and into the higher but temporary realms of happiness, so much so the Shahenshah had to turn back to look at a smiling adviser.
“Ah! Archer, always a smiler” was the king’s refrain before he continued.
“I am called the king of kings, and I only have a balcony. I am also supposed to be the giver of peace in a city that is about to explode in rebellion, names are just names”
The moonlight made up for the lack of street lights in the old city.
The moon which had been the darling of the court poets now looked pretty much helpless and without inspiration while the Shahenshah and his adviser looked upon, one lost in his illustrious yet fading past, the other lost while dreaming up his near certain glorious future.
The slight wind kept them company.