Find the first installment here- An Archaic world
Year 2000 AD
Oseye was the greatest queen of ancient Egypt, but not the best known. She didn’t build huge palaces or pyramids but devoted her life to working for the betterment of her people. In spite of being a strong leader of a powerful kingdom, she never attacked any other kingdom. In fact, the respect and hospitality given to foreigners earned her such goodwill that no one could even imagine of attacking her kingdom.
Ranefer, the pharaoh of the neighboring kingdom sent her a marriage proposal. She accepted it thinking that the wedding would bring the merger of two kingdoms. It would not only strengthen both the kingdoms but also help Egypt as its coffers were going empty after the tax waivers and subsidies to the poor announced by her.
In spite of Oseye’s reluctance for any wedding extravaganza, their wedding was the biggest ceremony of the two kingdoms. Ranefer was sent from the heaven, he was everything she wanted in her husband. He was caring and respected her dedication to the kingdom. He never intervened and let her lead her kingdom, while he focused on his.
With age, she grew over her childhood grudges against Ra and men, however, could not accept their dominance over people and women. She didn’t forget her vision of upliftment of poor and empowerment of women. She mandated formal education for girls who were earlier taught only cookery and stitching by their mothers. She took bold decisions which were a paradigm shift for the people from the centuries-old archaic world such as complete tax-waver for poor and induction of women as ministers, officials, and soldiers. More she got popular among the masses, more her political opponents started hating her.
As her fame grew in both the kingdoms and far- from Asia to Europe, she also earned two sets of enemies at home. First, the staunch followers of Ra, who felt that she was challenging their supreme god and accused her of sacrilege. Second, stereotype male bigots- the rich nobles who were upset with the tax reforms and her ex-counsel of ministers whom she replaced with women ministers. Many propaganda was launched against her for challenging century-old rules. She was alleged to be the harbinger of curse to Egypt as she was defying the rules of Gods. She argued “Rules are made by the people, not the gods. As the society evolves, so should rules.”
There were murmurs of coup or conspiracy in the power corridor but were short-lived and believed by none since the king and the queen were powerful, benevolent, and happily married.
Years rolled by, Egypt kept becoming stronger and prosperous under the rule of Oseye and Ranefer.
The happiness of the people of the kingdom knew no bounds when the news of their queen’s pregnancy was shared by the King in the court. With every passing month, the queen was more restricted at her palace and Ranefer got busier at the court as he had to run the entire kingdom alone. As the days passed, the king, the queen and all the Egyptians eagerly awaited the arrival of the heir to the throne.
Finally when the day arrived, Ranefer was in the court with his counsel. As the king heard the news about the arrival of the Kingdom’s new heir, he picked the gift that he had got for Oseye and hurried towards the palace.
She smiled seeing him. He hugged her and dropped the gift around her neck. As the serpent slithered around her neck, he picked the new-born Prince in his arms. He turned and walked towards the balcony, allowing the serpent to do its job.
He looked at the three great pyramids of Giza and dreamed of building the biggest pyramid in Egypt. As the Ra shined in the sky, the pharaoh smiled.
(c) 2018 PRIYA BAJPAI ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Picture courtesy: Pixabay
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