The Ballad of Soju and Mattu (Or Some Comic Relief at the End)

Kunwar Mattu Singh, Prince of Wails,

Woke up to find he'd got the blues again.

When his courtiers cried, "_Yuvraj ki Jai ho!_"

He sighed, "I wanna my Soju."

 

Reluctantly he brushed his teeth,

Mounted his golden potty in vain,

When his scented bath was ready,

He merely pouted, "I wanna my Soju."

 

To his breakfast he was coaxed,

The table laden with his favourite dishes--

Puris and gulab jamuns among countless other sweetums and fryums;

Instead he demanded, "I wanna my Sojlums."

 

Finally, he was dressed:  gold sherwani over brocade pants

Clinging to his skinny frame.  The herald announced:

"_Ba adab, ba mulaiza hoshiyaar, Kunwar Mattu Singh padhaar rahe hain_..."

He entered the court, declared:  "I wanna my Soju."

 

Somehow the day dragged on,

Mattu Singh transacted his usual business,

But every now and then, in the midst of the proceedings,

He burst out and said, "I wanna my Sojlums."

 

In the evening, at the entertainment,

Several dancing girlies, those enchanting houries,

Tried to entice him out of his gloominess:

He frowned and explained, "I wanna my Soju."

 

At nightfall, he couldn't sleep.

Spurning the ministrations of his handmaidens,

He sulked and wept in bed:

"I only wanna my Sojulums."

 

When the crown prince began to waste and pine away,

At last, Her Royal Highness and His Majesty,

Emperor of Tearland, Sighland, and Wails,

Themselves groaned, "Give him his Soju."

 

But who was this Soju?

Was she a fairy or an elf

That had stolen Mattu's heart and flown away?

Mattu Singh only reiterated, "I wanna my Sojlums."

 

So far and wide in the vales of separation

Royal messengers were dispatched to investigate:

Let's end this tale of tears, they resolved,

Let's find Mattu his Sojlums.

 

Will the kingdom of Wails

Like the communist parties in Eastern Europe,

Dissolve itself?  Will the lovers be united?

Will Mattu Singh get his Sojlums?

 

You decide, gentle reader, how the tearjerker ends;

I'll only mention the bounty announced by the King's messengers:

Those who help in reuniting Soju and Mattu will attain

Success in love and life and peace afterwards.


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  Copyright © 2005 - Makarand Paranjape