The King of the Dark Chamber
By Rabindranath Tagore
FIRST MAN. Ho, Sir! CITY GUARD. What do you want? SECOND MAN. Which way should we go? We are strangers here. Please tell us which street we should take. CITY GUARD. Where do you want to go? THIRD MAN. To where those big festivities are going to be held, you know. Which way do we go? CITY GUARD. One street is quite as good as another here. Any street will lead you there. Go straight ahead, and you cannot miss the place. FIRST MAN. Just hear what the fool says: "Any street will lead you there!" Where, then, would be the sense of having so many streets? SECOND MAN. You needn't be so awfully put out at that, my man. A country is free to arrange its affairs in its own way. As for roads in our country well, they are as good as non existent; narrow and crooked lanes, a labyrinth of ruts and tracks. Our King does not believe in open thoroughfares; he thinks that streets are just so many openings for his subjects to fly away from his kingdom. It is quite the contrary here; nobody stands in your way, nobody objects to your going elsewhere if you like to; and yet the people are far from deserting this kingdom. With such streets our country would certainly have been depopulated in no time. FIRST MAN. My dear Janardan, I have always noticed that this is a great fault in your character. JANARDAN. What is? FIRST MAN. That you are always having a fling at your country. How can you think that open highways may be good for a country? Look here, Kaundilya; here is a man who actually believes that open highways are the salvation of a country.