At the Time of Numismatic Transition

Issue TenIssue Ten PoetryPoetry

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by Srinjay Chakravarti

After the emperor’s head has been chopped off,

the royal executioner

is paid his wages

by his new masters.

Till new currency is struck,

the ancien régime’s will have to do.


He opens his purse,

and takes out a mohur—

a golden guinea,

with the decapitated royal bust

on the obverse,

and the other face emblazoned

with the legend:

Emperor of the World,

Scion of the Solar Dynasts,

Shadow of God on Earth,



He tosses the coin,

perhaps to test his own fate:

Heads it is. 


[An Indian Vignette of Myth from an Ersatz History of Possibilities]