A day in the life of Jalaluddin Akbar
5:00 am Woke up to the first rays of the sun. To my surprise, I found myself in bed with Abul Fazal. Don’t know how this happened –I distinctly remember asking for directions to Abu Begum’s quarters.
5:30 am Bare-chested sword play in front of the harem. What makes it totally cool is that I did not even have an actual steel sword. Yep I am naughty in the mornings.
6:30 am Nothing better than to start the day off by taming a wild elephant. And oh boy did this one shake its trunk and almost flatten me twice with its huge feet before I could grab it by the tusk. But then the page-boy tells me I have made yet another mistake. Instead of going to the pit, I had wandered into the courtyard of one of my most senior wives, who seems to have been pissed off with me for some reason.
Damn. Two mistakes and its not yet 7 am.
Note to self: No opium shots in the morning.
8 am Meeting with Raja Haldiram after refreshing bath. He wants the same damn thing: matrimonial alliance. To be honest, the girl looked very “Diwan-e-aam”. I of course like “Diwan-e-khaas”. Convinced him I have way too many wives already. Seemed a bit insulted. Gave him the honorary title of Bhujiawala.
10 am Threw some fool down from the roof head-first. Don’t even remember why. Must have lost my head or something. Will present the standard Mughal compensation package: petrol pump to son and harem-pass to widow. Yeah I know I have many wives. But what to do—the good of the subject is always the most important.
11 am Have to tell Birbal, for the zillionth time, not to send PJs as SMSs. This guy has the lamest sense of humor and keeps recycling jokes from Mullah Naseeruddin, Tenali Rama, Gopal Bhand and Sekhar Suman and passing them off as his own.
11: 15 am Lunch with wife No 296. Kept on nagging about how I do not give her any special attention. Nag nag nag.
12 pm Sleepy. Didnt help having a meeting with a bunch of hysteric Rajputs who kept saying I had married my son’s wife. That’s what I think they said, claiming that the whole clan has been insulted and that they would boycott something or the other.
Note to self: I do have too many wives.
2 pm Woke up after power nap. Music auditions for court musician. Today’s idols: Dilip Sen, Sameer Sen and Tan Sen. SMS voting has opened. Celebrity judge for today: living legend Dev Anand, my grandfather Babur’s favorite actor.
3 pm Announced budget. Jeziya tax has been repealed. However I have put a cess on kumkum and agarbatti, removed a 10% tax flat tax on corrugated roofing and put additional tariffs on cell phones and elephant manure. Why screw Hindus only when you can screw everybody ! I am sure the Ranathambore and Mewar guys will call my budget “anti-people” but then what’s new about that !
4 pm Trouble ! The ambassador of Bengal informed me that the entire state will rebel if Sourav Ganguly is not selected in the one day team. Got into a shouting match and at the end the Bengali ambassador said something that sounded like “Boka Jodhaa Akbar”. My advisors told me it’s just the ambassador wishing me and my wife good health.
5 pm Some new qawwal. What a heavenly voice. What lovely lyrics: “I love you Sayoni. Koi shaq? What’s up?” I think I can get rid of Faizi.
6 pm Problems. Seems there has been bird flu that has made chickens poisonous to eat. Demand for chickens down. I suggested we organize a grand feast, free of cost, serve exclusively chicken dishes and get demand up again. All my Navratans laughed at me saying that the idea was ridiculous, the “free feast” would set of alarm bells about the provenance of the free chickens and the whole event would be flop. Well guess who is laughing now.
7 pm Debriefing with Maham Anga. I am seriously getting sick of this lady being the actual power behind the throne and me being just a puppet. I pretend not to hear when some of the servant girls whisper “Manmohan Singh” as I pass by.
8 pm With wife No 264. The whole rigmarole of “Kya aap hume mohabbat kartein hain?” begins.
Married life I tell you.
[Disclaimer: No disrespect to any historic character, living or dead]