Shehanshahon ke shenhanshah, the emperor of emperors, Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar looks down at the blisters on his feet. He has walked miles on stone and dust, in the heat of the midday sun, like a mere commoner, to this little town called Sikri, just to seek the blessing of Shaikh Salim Chisti, the revered saint.
What his heart aches for is an heir to his throne; he is till now, childless. The Sufi saint did indeed bless him, predicting the birth of not one, not two but three sons, three possible heirs to the glory of the great Mughals.
What Akbar, childless and almost broken, doesn’t know is that the son he has asked for, the son who’ll ultimately be born, proving right Chisti’s prophecy, the son whom he’ll name Salim in honour of the great saint, will grow to be an obnoxiously rebellious offspring, and when the time came, will plot his own father’s overthrow, breaking his heart in two. Forever.
Today, Akbar knows nothing of that. For he is lost in the moment, in the promise that these blisters will not be for nothing. He is hopeful, believing, content.