Mark 04. _”Sawai”- A Present from the past _

One fine Saturday evening, I decided to skip celebration dinners and office gatherings. All I wanted (after a very tiring day at office and even more tiring week from work) was to spend the weekend alone. And what on earth is better than coffee, books and rain to accompany you. Nothing, right!

So, I decided to start with “The Land of Seven Rivers”- A brief history of India’s Geography, by Sanjeev Sanyal, with the minimalist hostel-coffee. Critically acclaimed and well-celebrated, this book had been occupying its own personal space in my delightfully decorated book shelf, along with other eminent works, for a long time. Waking it from a peaceful slumber, I started with the Introduction and was at once captivated with the descriptions of what our culture is, from where and how have we originated, describing events and monuments, history and geography interlinking them with such splendor that one simply cannot help being fascinated and even more, relish the entire act of reading this beauty.

Thank Goodness for the fake cold!

While going through the importance of monuments and stupas, and how they have witnessed every single change and important events in history, still standing tall in their 5:4 ratio of length and breadth, I came across this beautiful concept of ‘Sawai’. The discussion sprung with the importance of the figure 5/4 and how, this is marking itself through history in architectures, monuments construction, making its way from the town planning of Harappan Civilization till the current old royal flag in Jaipur.

There is an additional quarter flag with the old royal flag in Jaipur which celebrates this title. ‘Sawai’ was an honorary title given by then Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb to his vassal Maharaja Jai Singh. He was impressed with the Maharaja’s wit, He was impressed with the Maharaja’s wit, knowledge and his warfare tactics which helped the Mughal Empire . This title was not only later inherited by Maharaja’s future generations but given to dignitaries in various other empires as well. The title signifies that the person bearing it is greater in worth to everyone else by a fraction of one by four.

Presents from the past! 

After coming across this concept, all I could think of was how important must the Maharaja have been to Aurangzeb or just any other ruler to have honored them with the title. Is there such a relationship between people now-a-days, this kind of respect and value for another individual? Be it a personal setting or professional one, does the admiration remotely exist, enough, to consider honoring them.

With my understanding ‘your’ sawai could be someone whose worth is valued for his or her merits and principles. Although seeming impersonal, it appears to be a personal thing to me. Because, here, this person has taken a special place in your sabha, is not only someone whom you respect and whose work you appreciate, but someone whose opinion matters in certain decisions, whose advice you seek to when in soup and most importantly you ‘value’ them a fraction greater than everyone else in your court.

So, do you have a Maharaja in your court whom you could honor with such a revered title?

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