Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Child & the Emperor - Ultimatum


-One can only make a stand when he believes-

“What should I do? I don’t think I can continue like this.”

It was evident that Ghulam really did show his worth. The bruises & wounds littered his whole body, courtesy of the furious sorcerer and parents who became impatient with his rebellious nature.

“Why are you going against our whim? We’re doing the best for you!”

The old man knew exactly what his fellow pupil was going through, he too once had gone against the tide and with it he received the powerful waves which continued to pound him, since that grueling past until today. He thought deeply, because he knew this little flicker of light, which he hoped would become a beacon as it grew, was still fragile. Even the slowest of breeze could extinguish it.

“I have a solution.”

Ghulam’s eyes widened. The sound of footsteps passing by outside the shed they were using for lessons drowned, he was listening intently to make sure he will be at peace with himself, with his parents and the empire’s wishes to be the sorcerer’s apprentice. He could not bear to part with the truth he had acquired, nor be at odds with the people who influence his life greatly.

“When you arrive to the palace and the sorcerer demands the reason for your unpunctuality, tell them that your parents needed you at home and IF your parents ask why you’re late coming home, tell them the sorcerer’s lesson are getting more complex and longer.”

Deception. If evil people used it for their despicable ends, why shouldn’t they resort to it when going against such great obstacles? When they fighting for something so great as Truth, when they are outnumbered, two people, an old person and a young child who are challenging the status quo.

It was also embedded in the injunctions by Prophet Muhammad SAW to the Muslims during the turbulent times of their stay in Makkah. If you are under coercion you may do what is prohibited under normal circumstances only and only to ease your burden, not to take advantage of the situation.

A simple example is when you’re stranded in a remote place; let’s say in the middle of the Sahara. You’ve been going in circles for days, without food or water. Coincidentally, on the verge of death, you suddenly come across a plate of pork chop & ice cold beer.

Verge of death here people! So what is the most obvious thing to do?

Hog everything down in one swoop? Well, the idea is to only keep living, not indulge on the unlawful things.
See? Do not take advantage. Pheww, looks like I’m going too far in these Fiqhiyyah things. Okay, moving on.

So Ghulam was no longer impeded to spend his time with the old man & at the same sit for the sorcerer’s classes. Seems like a happy ending right? Ghulam getting what he wants, the empire finally having someone to replace the sorcerer’s position and contented parents who were seeing their child growing becoming someone very well known & successful.

Right & wrong can never reconcile with each other as Light & darkness can never merge to become something new. Such mutations would only produce disgusting offspring, neither accepted by one side nor recognized by the other.

A struggle was reaching its end in Ghulam. How can he accept the teachings of the old man but at the same subscribe to what the sorcerer is trying to make him become?

Is it his destiny to always be at the mercy of the circumstances, or to take a choice of his own?


As the tale goes, a seemingly mundane day goes terribly wrong for the people commuting into and out of the city. A fearsome beast had appeared and it was disrupting the daily affairs of the inhabitants. Traffic was congested as people staggered and froze as they attempt to walk past the beast but to no avail.

Every time a trader tries to sneak past the beast, try as stealthily as he can, the beast would sneer and growl, with a gaze so menacing the rest of the pedestrians would only think of an attempt as suicide.

-Yang pasti bukan BEAST macam ni la-
"What are we gonna do? I have an important deal to close today!"

"My mom’s gonna kill me if I don’t arrive with the groceries she asked me to get from Pak Abu at the other side of the town!"

"Oh sayangku, don’t worry. Your abe bucuk-bucuk won’t be impeded by this horrible beast! Our love is so much stronger!"

Said some people on the other of the blockade, a fearsome, sneering, gazing with malice of primal fury blockade.

"Hey, isn’t that the sorcerer’s apprentice?"

He was just passing by, maybe just after talking his way out from his interrogative parents or finishing his daily lessons. He wasn’t searching for fame, nor did he welcome it as it arrived only with his status of an art he himself is not at peace with. But people knew him, he was the APPRENTICE, the inheritor of immense power and ability as the current sorcerer, who looms an air of superiority over the kingdom. Here is the next sorcerer;

"Please, help us get rid of this beast with sorcery!"

Ghulam could only frown and complied with a ‘yes’ and a bitter taste in his mouth. The people were asking him to practice something that he himself had grown to detest. Of course he knew the chants and tricks, the sleight of hand and the misdirection, the shirk associated with the trade they were asking him to show.
"They want sorcery huh?"

Ghulam again was at a crossroad.
"Oh God, I’ve had enough!"

The people of the city waited in anticipation of what amazing things the apprentice was going to do.



Or maybe spouting fountains from the grounds and forming a tsunami?

They were in for a surprise.

"Eh, what is he doing?"

Ghulam was picking up something from the ground.

"What is that? A meteor stone? Ooooh~ Maybe it’s holy stone from the heavens yes?"

It was a pebble. A small stone like any other on the side of the road.

"Ooooo, what is he going to do with it? I bet he’s gonna make a Kamehameha from that little pebble, you know, making it suddenly bigger and hurdling it at the beast?"

Ghulam did no such thing.

"Hey, what’s he’s whispering there?"

Ghulam looked intense. The world drowned away from his senses. The chatter of the cityfolk, the beast in front of him all left leaving him alone with the pebble firm in his grip, as firm as the belief that was already being seeded in his heart.

"Oh God, show me!"

"What the???"

The beast dropped dead. The people silenced. What they saw was something that could only be described as ridiculous. A fling of an arm. A seemingly harmless flight of a small projectile. An instant death of a horrible beast.

"The apprentice! He, he, he did it!"

"A pebble I tell you! A pebble!"

The people of the city were jubilant with the outcome. Here, in front of their own eyes, the apprentice had become a master. News of his exploits became well known after that event. He was fast being acknowledged as the new sorcerer of the kingdom.

They thought a sorcerer was born.

The emperor thought his kingdom was safe.

The sorcerer was already patting himself at the back for a job well done.

Oohh boy, were they wrong.

P/s: Dialog orang kampung (or bandar, whichever you like) adalah andaian semata-mata, sebagai pemerian suasana eh? Risau teranggap macam Pak Abu tu ada dalam hadith la pulak.


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