Jul 10, 2010

#12 Wish

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 12; the twelfth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.


While festivities in the royal palace continued on the event of The Emperor's son returning back from his expedition and the commencement of the New Year, Wu Zhung sat aloof in her chamber. After a decade, a silk scroll from LuiFei had arrived and it now lay in Wu Zhung's lap. YinHe had seen her read and reread it in the full moon light. He stepped a little closer and took a peek, himself.

What one wants and what one gets,
If for the better, the old one forgets,
When wants become things,
For which one craves,
Then wants become wishes,
And one becomes a slave.

When one sets about,
Getting what he wants,
Then little seems too less,
And he wishes for more.
Seldom does he remember,
He never had it before!


The words were neatly written in a slender, slanting  hand with much care. The meaning was also equally crisp to both Wu Zhung and even YinHe.

Wu Zhung was suddenly aware of YinHe peering over her shoulder but she didn't mind this slight invasion of her privacy. YinHe, the Mongol eunuch who had been appointed as Wu's personal servant had been at her side, through thick and thin over the past decade. This sexless being was more of a confidante and had taken great care of her. Wu Zhung could not possibly be angry with anything he did or said for she trusted that it would always be for her own good. So she had immediately guessed that YinHe had something to do with the arrival of this letter from LuiFei. However YinHe had never crossed his line and Wu Zhung realised that  to communicate what he strongly felt about her recent behaviour, he had utilised LuiFei's help.

" I hope that the poem has communicated its hidden message well?", said YinHe in a tone of anxious inquiry, in an attempt to figure out what Wu Zhung was thinking and whether there was scope for a change of heart. 

Greying LuiFei, The Emperor Lao Zhung's 10th imperial mistress was Wu Zhung's friend, philosopher and guide. And Wu Zhung would never dare ignore her words. After all it was LuiFei who had groomed the teenaged farmer's daughter from Kunming and had made her the magnificently seductive concubine that she was today. It was only because of LuiFei that little Wu had speedily risen to becoming the 211th Imperial mistress within two years time of having arrived at the royal harem.  

LuiFei's opening lines ,  "What one wants and what one gets,
 If for the better, the old one forgets,..." reminded Wu Zhung of that stage in her life, almost a decade ago when she was just another peasant's daughter and was suffering a life below the poverty line. She was yearning for wealth and luxury. Dressed in the only cotton frock she had, Wu had arrived at the royal palace seeking help for her ailing mother and hungry siblings with a basket of peonies in her hand. Enamoured by her earthy virgin beauty, The Emperor had immediately included her between the court ladies and sent an handsome amount of wealth home, to her family. Reveling in the luxuries of 'The Great Within' and busy adapting to the ways of the harem, Wu had soon completely forgotten about the hardships she'd seen back on the farmlands. Luifei's poetic words seemed to chide her today for forgetting those days of The Emperor's kindness.

Wu could not agree more at this point that LuiFei was a woman with an alert mind and even wiser ways of handling situations and people. She imagined LuiFei snigger at her childish escapades. LuiFei had aptly penned these lines and with a purpose. Wu realised that the purpose had been achieved.
 
"When wants become things,
For which one craves,
Then wants become wishes,
And one becomes a slave."

These four lines of the poem reminded Wu of that very night when LuiFei had thrown a dinner party for the Emperor and she'd been invited.  

Wu Zhung had enjoyed The Emperor Lao Zhung's favours in plenty. He had fallen head over heels for her beauty. As a young teenager she had absorbed and mastered all that LuiFei had taught her. The art of luring with the batting of her long thick eyelashes and the not- so- obvious but slight pout of her luscious lips.
 
"The come hither glance has to be thrown across at the right moment, mind you!" LuiFei had instructed her in one of the private training sessions held specially for Wu in LuiFei's chambers.

She had learnt the most gracious moves of the ancient fan dance and also learnt to pluck the LiuQuin well and in an enigmatic style. So when she had performed before The Emperor at LuiFei's dinner party, she could feel The Emperor's eyes appraise her from top to toe, with awe. There was a hint of lust in them too but she didn't mind that night.
Wu Zhung remembered how her heart had beat a thousand strokes faster that evening as she presented herself. And how she'd desperately wanted to become more than what she was. She wanted to be the Emperor's next love interest, with all her body and soul. Wu felt the woman hood in her burst at the seams. She did not wish to remain a virgin anymore.
 
" My heart had thumped faster and louder at the idea of being made love to by The Emperor Lao Zhung himself.", she reminisced.
 
And Wu Zhung felt her cheeks blush a deeper pink at the thought that she, the pet mistress of The Emperor now garnered such feelings for someone else! That her cravings were no longer for the Emperor but for his son. That she wished and wanted to bed someone else and had become a slave to these wile temptations. 

"When one sets about,
Getting what he wants,
Then little seems too less,
And he wishes for more.
Seldom does he remember,
He never had it before!"

Hong Zhung, The Emperor Lao Zhung's 19 year old, 4th son from the 1st Empress had been undertaking a lot of expeditions over the YellowSeas. The Emperor out of all his love for his favourite concubine, granted Wu Zhung to accompany him on one such journey to the Malabar coasts of India. He was well aware of Wu Zhung's cravings for 'The Great Without'.
She traversed the oceans and smelt the sweet freedom in the open air. She tasted the salty waters at different shores and absolutely lost control over herself.

" My feelings were so overwhelming that I gave in. As a teenager I had sold my soul and I want to reclaim it as a woman. I wished for true love and I have found it. Hong Zhung is a wonderful man, YinHe. And there is freedom in loving him. His love is not possessive. It is unconditional, without reason, without expectation and that makes it all the more intoxicating. I am addicted, YinHe. Please save me. " Wu Zhung had confessed  to YinHe after her return back to 'The Great Within'. But she hadn't meant it.
Wu Zhung still knew that she didn't want to be saved.

" I cannot deny that I wish for more! I don't want a little of The Emperors' love, I want all of it. And that isn't possible. It is too less for my aching heart. Hong Zhung loves me with all he's got and I wish to bask in its glory." with this Wu Zhung threw the silk scroll away on her bed.

As her silhouette stood by the bay window outlined by the silver stream of moon light, YinHe stood by in utter disappointment and astonishment.
" ...your humble servant wishes you to know that you are asking for trouble. I wish you could see what I foresee." YinHe sighed.

But  Wu Zhung was deaf to all his pleas. She was lost in her trance once again.
" If wishes were horses .... " her voice trailed off with a deeper sigh.


FACTS in the FICTION:

1. LUI is a romanized non-Mandarin variant of the Chinese surname Lei meaning 'Thunder'
FEI means concubine.
LuiFei is the fictitious Emperor's concubine here but in ancient China names of the concubines were actually thus concocted.

2. After the Mongols lost to the Chinese, the adult offenders were brutally butchered but the young Mongol boys were only castrated and brought home as prisoners of war. As many as 70, 000 sexless mongol boys had been taken into the Emperor's harem.Only these sexless beings could act as personal servants to the harem's ladies and besides the Emperor, were the only others to be allowed into 'The Great Within' .

3. LiuQuin is an ancient Chinese instrument played by concubines which is a fretted lute with 4 fine strings of twisted silk strung to a wooden pear-shaped body.

4. Travel and trade across the Yellow Seas dd flourish under the Emperor Zhu Di and the Chinese fleets did visit the Malabar coasts of India.
5. This is the 12th part of my first story series 'The Great Without' and also my entry to the 12th edition of Blogaton. :D Happy Anniversary B-A-T!


The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.








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