ONCE upon a time, so the old tale goes, there lived an emperor who wanted to stitch himself the fanciest set of clothes in his kingdom. So he called the best tailors and asked them if they would stitch them for him, and even offered to pay a million rupees for the set of clothes. Most of the tailors refused; they knew if his majesty was not satisfied, he would chop off their heads, and nobody likes to walk around without a head do they? But one tailor said he would.
The emperor was overjoyed and was even more overjoyed when at the first trial he found, the material was so light, so transparent, so thin, he couldn’t even see it, he couldn’t even feel it! The day arrived when the emperor wore it for the first time, to parade down the city. The tailor fawned round him, wrapped the totally invisible fabric round the emperor and his majesty was delighted to find everybody around him congratulating him for his fine new clothes.
The Emperor put on his one million rupee new clothes and went to meet the President of a huge foreign power, who he knew would be impressed by his impressive suit of clothes. He walked down the ramparts of the city and into the city, saluted his soldiers, took their salute and felt very happy with himself. But there were whispers and rumours, and people talked like people always do.
A man with a muffler dared to defy the emperor and the emperor, his white beard twitching with hate answered back with venom, and the people watched him in his new suit of clothes and as they watched they smiled, and then chuckled and guffawed with laughter. “We can see through the emperor!” they shouted.
“The emperor is transparent to the eye!” they whispered and it wasn’t long before the emperor was ashamed of his new million rupee suit. But it was too late: The muffler man soon had a crowd round him, a crowd who whispered they didn’t want an emperor with a million rupee suit, and soon, the muffler wearing man took over the crown from the emperor. But my dear listeners it is not about the suit I tell this tale, it is not about the million rupees spent that this tale is told, but about the fact that just one incident, showed the people the man unclothed, and what he was and who he was, and the people didn’t like what they saw. Nay, we don’t like what we see..!