Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Birbal Stories # 31 - Back to Square One

As usual a lot of people were present in Akbar's durbar. A famous astrologer had come from a far away country.

He was talking about the Solar System and the Earth's shape.
At one point Akbar said, "If the earth is round, and if one travel strait towards one direction, he will come back to the same spot from where he has started the journey."
"Theoretically it is correct", said the astrologer.
"Why not in real life?", asked the king.
"One has to cross oceans, mountains and forests to keep the path straight." the astrologer said.
"Sail through the oceans, make tunnels in the mountains and use elephants to cross the forests." Akbar found the solution.
"Still it is impossible" said the astrologer.
"Why?" Asked Akbar.
"It may take years to complete the whole journey" said the astrologer
"Years? How many?" asked Akbar.
"I don't know. May be a hundred years or more" said the astrologer
"Don't worry I will ask my ministers. They have an answer for everything" Akbar looked at the ministers.
"Impossible to calculate"
"Around 25 years"
"Fifty years or less"
"80 days"
"Why Birbal, you haven't uttered a word" the king showed his surprise at Birbal's silence.
"I was just calculating the time required to go round the earth" explained Birbal.
"And did you get the answer?" asked the king.
"Sure." Said Birbal "It will take just one day."
"Just one day! Birbal, it is Impossible! Even it will take more than one day to cross our country." Said Akbar.

"It is possible. Provided you travel at the speed of the Sun" said Birbal with a smile.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Birbal Stories # 30 - Cooking the Khichdi

It was winter. The ponds were all frozen.

At the court, Akbar asked Birbal, "Tell me Birbal! Will a man do anything for money?" Birbal replied, 'Yes'. The emperor ordered him to prove it.
The next day Birbal came to the court along with a poor brahmin who merely had a penny left with him. His family was starving.

Birbal told the king that the brahmin was ready to do anything for the sake of money. The king ordered the brahmin to be inside the frozen pond all through the night without any attire if he needed money.

The poor brahmin had no choice. The whole night he was inside the pond, shivering. He returned to the durbar the next day to receive his reward.
The king asked "Tell me Oh poor brahmin! How could you withstand the extreme temperature all through the night?" The innocent brahmin replied "I could see a faintly glowing light a kilometre away and I withstood with that ray of light."

Akbar refused to pay the brahmin his reward saying that he had got warmth from the light and withstood the cold and that was cheating. The poor brahmin could not argue with him and so returned disappointed and bare-handed.
Birbal tried to explain to the king but the king was in no mood to listen to him. Thereafter, Birbal stopped coming to the durbar and sent a messenger to the king saying that he would come to the court only after cooking his khichdi.
As Birbal did not turn up even after 5 days, the king himself went to Birbal's house to see what he was doing. Birbal had lit the fire and kept the pot of uncooked khichdi one metre away from it.

Akbar questioned him "How will the khichdi get cooked with the fire one metre away? What is wrong with you Birbal?"
Birbal replied "Oh my great King of Hindustan! When it was possible for a person to receive warmth from a light that was a kilometre away, then it is possible for this khichdi, which is just a metre away from the source of heat, to get cooked."

Akbar understood his mistake. He called the poor brahmin and rewarded him 2000 gold coins.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Birbal Stories # 29 - The Blind Saint

There lived a saint in an ashram in the kingdom of Emperor Akbar.

He was believed to prophecy the future correctly, despite being a blind man.

Once he had a visitor who had come to treat their niece. The child's parents were killed in front of the girl's eyes.

Once she saw the saint, she started to scream loudly saying that that saint was the culprit. Angered by the girl's words the saint demanded the couple to get away with their child.

The whole day the girl cried which made the couple to realize that the girl was not lying. Therefore, they decided to seek the help of Raja Birbal.

Birbal consoled them and asked them to wait at the Emperor's assembly. Birbal had invited the saint to Akbar's court too.

Then in front of all the ministers he drew a sword and neared the saint to kill him. The saint in bewilderment immediately drew another sword and began to fight.
Thus by this act of the saint it was proved that he was'nt blind.

Therefore Akbar demanded to hang the culprit and rewarded the girl for her bravery for telling the truth even at the critical situation.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Birbal Stories # 28 - The Loyal Gardener

One day the Emperor Akbar stumbled on a rock in his garden. He was in a foul mood that day and the accident made him so angry that he ordered the gardener’s arrest and execution.

The next day when the gardener was asked what his last wish was before he was hanged, he requested an audience with the emperor.

This wish was granted, but when the man neared the throne he loudly cleared his throat and spat at the emperor’s feet.

The emperor was taken aback and demanded to know why he had done such a thing. The gardener had acted on Birbal’s advice and now Birbal stepped forward in the man’s defence.

"Your Majesty," he said, "there could be no person more loyal to you than this unfortunate man. Fearing that people would say you hanged him for a trifle, he has gone out of his way to give you a genuine reason for hanging him."

The emperor, realising that he had been about to do a great injustice, set the man free.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Birbal Stories # 27 - Birbal identifies a guest

Birbal had been invited to lunch by a rich man. Birbal went to the man's house and found him in a hall full of people. His host greeted him warmly.
"I did not know there would be so many guests," said Birbal who hated large gatherings.
"They are not guests," said the man. "They are my employees, all except one man. He is the only other guest here beside you."
Then a crafty look came on the man's face.
"Can you tell me which of them is the guest?" he asked.
"Maybe I could," said Birbal. "Talk to them as I observe them. Tell them a joke or something."
The man told a joke that Birbal thought was perhaps the worst he had heard in a long time. When he finished everyone laughed uproariously.
"Well," said the rich man. "I've told my joke. Now tell me who my other guest is."
Birbal pointed out the man to him.
"How did you know?" asked his host, amazed.
"Employees tend to laugh at any joke told by their employers," explained Birbal. "When I saw that this man was the only one not laughing at your joke, and in fact, looked positively bored, I at once knew he was your other guest."

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Birbal Stories # 26 - Noble Beggar

Emperor Akbar asked Birbal if it was possible for a man to be the 'lowest' and the 'noblest' at the same time.
"It is possible," said Birbal.
"Then bring me such a person," said the emperor.
Birbal went out and returned with a beggar.
"He is the lowest among your subjects," he said, presenting him to Akbar.
"That might be true," said Akbar. "But I don't see how he can be the 'noblest'."
"He has been given the honour of an audience with the emperor," said Birbal. "That makes him the noblest among beggars."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Birbal Stories # 25 - Birbal denies a rumour

One day a man stopped Birbal in the street and began narrating his woes to him.

"I've walked twenty miles to see you," he told Birbal finally, "and all along the way people kept saying you were the most generous man in the country."
Birbal knew the man was going to ask him for money.
"Are you going back the same way?" he asked.
"Yes," said the man.
"Will you do me a favour?"
"Certainly," said the man. "What do you want me to do?"
"Please deny the rumour of my generosity," said Birbal, walking away.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Birbal Stories # 24 - Birbal outwits a cheat

A farmer and his neighbour once went to Emperor Akbar's court with a complaint.

"Your Majesty, I bought a well from him," said the farmer pointing to his neighbour," and now he wants me to pay for the water."
"That's right, your Majesty," said the neighbour. "I sold him the well but not the water!"
The Emperor asked Birbal to settle the dispute.
"Didn't you say that you sold your well to this farmer?" Birbal asked the neighbour. "So, the well belongs to him now, but you have kept your water in his well. Is that right? Well, in that case you will have to pay him a rent or take your water out at once."
The neighbour realised that he was outwitted. He quickly apologised and gave up his claim.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Birbal Stories # 23 - Birbal Shortens a Road

The emperor Akbar was travelling to a distant place along with some of his courtiers. It was a hot day and the emperor was tiring of the journey.

“Can’t anybody shorten this road for me?” he asked, querulously.
“I can,” said Birbal.
The other courtiers looked at one another, perplexed. All of them knew there was no other path through the hilly terrain. The road they were travelling on was the only one that could take them to their destination.
“You can shorten the road?” said the emperor. “Well, do it.”
“I will,” said Birbal. “Listen first to this story I have to tell.”
And riding beside the emperor’s palanquin, he launched upon a long and intriguing tale that held Akbar and all those listening, spellbound. Before they knew it they had reached the end of their journey.
“We’ve reached?” exclaimed Akbar. “So soon!”
“Well,” grinned Birbal, “you did say you wanted the road to be shortened.”

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Birbal Stories # 22 - Birbal returns Home

Birbal was in Persia at the invitation of the king of that country. Parties were given in his honour and rich presents were heaped on him.

On the eve of his departure for home, a nobleman asked him how he would compare the king of Persia to his own king.
“Your king is a full moon,” said Birbal. “Whereas mine could be likened to the quarter moon.”
The Persians were very happy. But when Birbal got home he found that Emperor Akbar was furious with him.
“How could you belittle your own king!” demanded Akbar. “You are a traitor!”
“No, Your Majesty,” said Birbal. “I did not belittle you. The full moon diminishes and disappears whereas the quarter moon grows from strength to strength. What I, in fact, proclaimed to the world is that your power is growing from day to day whereas that of the king of Persia is about to go into decline.”
Akbar grunted in satisfaction and welcomed Birbal back with a warm embrace.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Birbal Stories # 21 - The Sharpest Sword and Shield

A man who made spears and shields once came to Akbar's court.

"Your Majesty, nobody can make shields and spears to equal mine," he said. "My shields are so strong that nothing can pierce them and my spears are so sharp that there's nothing they cannot pierce."
"I can prove you wrong on one count certainly," said Birbal suddenly.
"Impossible!" declared the man.
"Hold up one of your shields and I will pierce it with one of your spears," said Birbal with a smile.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Birbal Stories # 20 - Birbal's Choice

One day Emperor Akbar asked Birbal what he would choose if he were given a choice between justice and a gold coin.
“The gold coin,” said Birbal.
Akbar was taken aback.
“You would prefer a gold coin to justice?” he asked, incredulously.
“Yes,” said Birbal.
The other courtiers were amazed by Birbal’s display of idiocy.
For years they had been trying to discredit Birbal in the emperor’s eyes but without success and now the man had gone and done it himself!
They could not believe their good fortune.
“I would have been dismayed if even the lowliest of my servants had said this,” continued the emperor. “But coming from you it’s. . . it’s shocking - and sad. I did not know you were so debased!”
“One asks for what one does not have, Your Majesty!” said Birbal, quietly. “You have seen to it that in our country justice is available to everybody. So as justice is already available to me and as I’m always short of money I said I would choose the gold coin.”

The emperor was so pleased with Birbal’s reply that he gave him not one but a thousand gold coins

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Birbal Stories # 19 - Birbal, The Child

Birbal arrived late for a function and the emperor was displeased.

"My child was crying and I had to placate him," explained the courtier.
"Does it take so long to calm down a child?" asked the emperor. "It appears you know nothing about child rearing. Now you pretend to be a child and I shall act as your father and I will show you how you should have dealt with your child. Go on, ask me for whatever he asked of you."
"I want a cow," said Birbal.
Akbar ordered a cow to be brought to the palace.
"I want its milk. I want its milk," said Birbal, imitating the voice of a small child.
"Milk the cow and give to him," said Akbar to his servants.
The cow was milked and the milk was offered to Birbal. He drank a little and then handed the bowl back to Akbar.
"Now put the rest of it back into the cow, put it back, put in back, put it back..." wailed Birbal.
The emperor was flabbergasted and quietly left the room.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Birbal Stories # 18 - Limping Horse

A nobleman’s prized racehorse began to limp for no apparent reason. Veterinarians who were called found nothing wrong with the leg - no fracture, no sprain, no soreness - and they were baffled.

The nobleman finally consulted a sage, a man known for his wisdom.

“Has anything changed for the horse in the last few months?” he asked.
“I changed his trainer a few weeks ago,” said the nobleman.
“Does the horse get on well with his new trainer?”
“Very well! In fact, he’s devoted to him.”
“Does the trainer limp?”
“Uh… yes, he does.”
“The reason for the horse’s limp is clear,” said the sage. “He’s imitating his handler. We all tend to imitate those whom we admire. The company we keep has a great influence on us.”
The nobleman put the horse in the charge of another trainer, and the horse soon stopped limping.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Birbal Stories # 17 - The Emperor's Servant

One day Akbar and Birbal were riding through the countryside and they happened to pass by a cabbage patch.
"Cabbages are such delightful vegetables!" said Akbar. "I just love cabbage."

"The cabbage is king of vegetables!" said Birbal.
A few weeks later they were riding past the cabbage patch again. This time however, the emperor made a face when he saw the vegetables.

"I used to love cabbage but now I have no taste for it." said Akbar.
"The cabbage is a tasteless vegetable" agreed Birbal.
The emperor was astonished.
"But the last time you said it was the king of vegetables!" he said.
"I did," admitted Birbal. "But I am your servant Your Majesty, not the cabbage's."

Monday, January 16, 2012

Birbal Stories # 16 - Birbal, The Wise Judge

Ramu and Shamu both claimed ownership of the same mango tree.

One day they approached Birbal and asked him to settle the dispute.

Birbal said to them: "There is only one way to settle the matter. Pluck all the fruits on the tree and divide them equally between the two of you. Then cut down the tree and divide the wood".
Ramu thought it was a fair judgement and said so.

But Shamu was horrified.
"Your Honour" he said to Birbal "I've tended that tree for seven years. I'd rather let Ramu have it than see it cut down."
"Your concern for the tree has told me all I wanted to know" said Birbal, and declared Shamu the true owner of the tree.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Birbal Stories # 15 - The True King

The King of Iran had heard that Birbal was one of the wisest men in the East and desirous of meeting him sent him an invitation to visit his country.
In due course, Birbal arrived in Iran.

When he entered the palace he was flabbergasted to find not one but six kings seated there.

All looked alike. All were dressed in kingly robes.

Who was the real king?
The very next moment he got his answer.

Confidently, he approached the king and bowed to him.

"But how did you identify me?" the king asked, puzzled.
Birbal smiled and explained: "The false kings were all looking at you, while you yourself looked straight ahead. Even in regal robes, the common people will always look to their king for support."
Overjoyed, the king embraced Birbal and showered him with gifts.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Birbal Stories # 14 - Question for Question

One day Akbar said to Birbal: "Can you tell me how many bangles your wife wears?"

Birbal said he could not.
"You cannot?" exclaimed Akbar. "You see her hands every day while she serves you food. Yet you do not know how many bangles she has on her hands? How is that?"
"Let us go down to the garden, Your Majesty," said Birbal, "and I'll tell you."
They went down the small staircase that led to the garden.

Then Birbal turned to the emperor: "Your Majesty," he said, "You go up and down this staircase every day. Can you tell me how many steps there are in the staircase?"
The emperor grinned sheepishly and quickly changed the subject.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Birbal Stories # 13 - Birbal's Painting

Once Akbar told Birbal 'Birbal, make me a painting. Use imagination in it. To which the reply was 'But hoozoor, I am a minister, how can I possibly paint?'.

The king was angry and said 'If I don’t get a good painting by one week then you shall be hanged!'. The clever Birbal had an idea.

After one week, he went to the court and with him he carried a covered frame. Akbar was happy to see that Birbal had obeyed him, until he opened the cover.

The courtiers rushed to see what was wrong. What they saw made them feel very happy. At last, they would not see Birbal in court!

The painting was nothing but ground and sky. There were a few specs of green on the ground. The Emperor, angrily, told Birbal 'what is this!'

To which the reply was 'A cow eating grass hoozoor!'. Akbar said 'where is the cow and grass?' and Birbal told 'I used my imagination. The cow ate the grass and returned to its shed!'

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Birbal Stories # 12 - Birbal betrays himself

Birbal was missing.

He and the emperor had a quarrel and Birbal had stormed out of the palace vowing never to return. Now Akbar missed him and wanted him back but no one knew where he was.

Then the emperor had a brainwave. He offered a reward of 1000 gold coins to any man who could come to the palace observing the following condition.

The man had to walk in the sun without an umbrella but he had to be in the shade at the same time.
"Impossible," said the people.
Then a villager came carrying a string cot over his head and claimed the prize.
"I've walked in the sun but at the same time I was in the shade of the strings of the cot," he said. It was a brilliant solution.

On interrogation the villager confessed that the idea had been suggested to him by a man living with him.
"It could only be Birbal!" said the emperor, delighted.

Sure enough it was Birbal and he and the emperor had a joyous reunion.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Birbal Stories # 11 - Birbal identifies the thief

One fine morning , a minister from Emperor Akbar's court had gathered in the assembly hall.

He informed the Emperor that all his valuables had been stolen by a thief the previous night.

Akbar was shocked to hear this beause the place where that minister lived was the safest place in the kingdom. He invited Birbal to solve the mystery.

Akbar said "It is definitely not possible for an outsider to enter into the minister's house and steal the valuables. This blunder is definitely committed only by another minister of that court."

Saying so he arranged for a donkey to be tied to a pillar . He ordered all the courtiers to lift the donkey's tail and say "I have not stolen."

Birbal added "Only then we can judge the culprit."

After everyone had finished, he asked the courtiers to show their palm to him. All the courtiers except Alim Khan had a black patch of paint on their palm.

Birbal had actually painted the donkey's tail with a black coat of paint. In the fright, the guilty minister did not touch the donkey's tail at all.

Thus Birbal once again proved his intelligence and was rewarded by the king with 1000 gold coins.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Birbal Stories # 10 - Just One Question

One Day a scholar came to the court of Emperor Akbar and challenged Birbal to answer his questions and thus prove that he was as clever as people said he was.

He asked Birbal: "Would you prefer to answer a hundred easy questions or just a single difficult one?"
Both the emperor and Birbal had had a difficult day and were impatient to leave.
"Ask me one difficult question," sad Birbal.
"Well, then, tell me," said the man, "which came first into the world, the chicken or the egg?"
"The chicken," replied Birbal.
"How do you know?" asked the scholar, a note of triumph in his voice.
"We had agreed you would ask only one question and you have already asked it" said Birbal and he and the emperor walked away leaving the scholar gaping.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Birbal Stories # 9 - Birbal's sweet reply

One day the Emperor Akbar startled his courtiers with a strange question.

"If somebody pulled my whiskers what sort of punishment should be given him?" he asked.
"He should be flogged!" said one courtier.
"He should be hanged!" said another.
"He should be beheaded!" said a third.
"And what about you, Birbal?" asked the emperor. "What do you think would be the right thing thing to do if somebody pulled my whiskers?"
"He should be given sweets," said Birbal.
"Sweets?" gasped the other couriers.
"Yes, said Birbal. "Sweets, because the only one who would dare pull His Majesty's whiskers is his grandson."
So pleased was the emperor with the answer that he pulled off his ring and gave it to Birbal as a reward.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Birbal Stories # 8 - Birbal is brief

One day Akbar asked his courtiers if they could tell him the difference between truth and falsehood in three words or less.

The courtiers looked at one another in bewilderment.
"What about you, Birbal?" asked the emperor. "I'm surprised that you too are silent."
"I'm silent because I want to give others a chance to speak," said Birbal.
"Nobody else has the answer," said the emperor. "So go ahead and tell me what the difference between truth and falsehood is — in three words or less."
"Four fingers" said Birbal
"Four fingers?" asked the emperor, perplexed.
"That's the difference between truth and falsehood, your Majesty," said Birbal. "That which you see with your own eyes is the truth. That which you have only heard about might not be true. More often than not, it's likely to be false."
"That is right," said Akbar. "But what did you mean by saying the difference is four fingers?'
"The distance between one's eyes and one's ears is the width of four fingers, Your Majesty," said Birbal, grinning.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Birbal Stories # 7 - The Well dispute

Once there was a complaint at King Akbar's court.

There were two neighbours who shared their garden. In that garden, there was a well that was possessed by Iqbal khan.

His neighbour, who was a farmer wanted to buy the well for irrigation purpose. Therefore they signed an agreement between them, after which the farmer owned the well.

Even after selling the well to the farmer, Iqbal continued to fetch water from the well. Angered by this, the farmer had come to get justice from King Akbar.

King Akbar asked Iqbal the reason for fetching water from the well even after selling it to the farmer. Iqbal replied that he had sold only the well to the farmer but not the water inside it.

King Akbar wanted Raja Birbal who was present in the court listening to the problem to solve the dispute. Birbal came forward and gave a solution.

He said " Iqbal, You say that you have sold only the well to the farmer. And you claim that the water is yours.

Then how come you can keep your water inside another person's well without paying rent?" Iqbal's trickery was countered thus in a tricky way. The farmer got justice and Birbal was fairly rewarded.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Birbal Stories # 6 - List of the blind

Once King Birbal questioned Raja Birbal if he knows the number of blind citizens of their kingdom.

Raja Birbal had requested Akbar to give him a week’s time. The next day Raja Birbal was found to be mending shoes in the town market.

People were astonished to see Birbal doing such work.

Many of them started to question "Birbal!! What are you doing?" Once when he was asked this question by someone he started writing something.

It continued for a week when on the 7th day King Akbar himself asked Birbal the same question. Giving him no answer, Birbal reported at the court the next day and handed over a note to King Akbar.

Akbar read the note when he found that it was the big list of people who were blind. Emperor Akbar was stunned when he found his own name in the list.

Angered by this, Akbar asked Birbal the reason for writing his name in the list. Birbal said "O! My majesty! Like all other people you also saw me mending the slippers but you still asked me what I was doing. Therefore I had to include your name too."

Akbar started laughing at this and everyone enjoyed Birbal's sense of humour.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Birbal Stories # 5 - The Musical Genius

Famous musicians once gathered at Akbar's court for a competition.

The one who could capture a bull's interest was to be declared the winner.
One by one, they played the most heavenly music but the bull paid no attention. Then Birbal took the stage.

His music sounded like the droning of mosquitoes and the mooing of cows.

But to everyone's amazement the bull suddenly became alert and began to move in a lively manner.
Akbar declared Birbal the winner.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Birbal Stories # 4 - Birbal Turns the Tables

Emperor Akbar was narrating a dream. The dream began with Akbar and Birbal walking towards each other on a moonless night. It was so dark that they could not see each other - and they collided, and fell.
"Fortunately for me," said the Emperor. "I fell into a pool of payasam. But guess what Birbal fell into?"
"What, your Majesty?" asked the courtiers.
"A gutter!"
The court resounded with laughter. The emperor was thrilled that for once he had been able to score over Birbal. But Birbal was unperturbed.
"Your Majesty," he said when the laughter had died down. "Strangely, I too had the same dream. But unlike you I slept on till the end. When you climbed out of that pool of delicious payasam and I, out of that stinking gutter we found that there was no water with which to clean ourselves and so guess what we did?
"What?" asked the emperor, warily.
"We licked each other clean!"
The emperor became red with embarrassment and resolved never to try to get the better of Birbal again.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Birbal Stories # 3 - The Jealous Courtiers

One day Emperor Akbar was inspecting the law and order situation in the kingdom.

One of his ministers, who was jealous of Raja Birbal, complained that the Emperor gave importance only to Birbal's suggestions and all the other ministers were ignored.

Akbar wanted the minister to know how wise Birbal was.
There was a marriage procession going on. The Emperor ordered the minister to enquire whose marriage it was.

The minister found out and walked towards the Emperor wearing a proud expression on his face. Then the king called Birbal and asked him too to enquire whose marriage was going on.

When Birbal returned, Akbar asked the minister "Where are the couple going?" The minister said that the king had only asked him to enquire whose marriage was going on.

Then Akbar asked Birbal the same question. "O My Majesty! They are going to the city of Allahabad," replied Raja Birbal.

Now the King turned towards the minister and said, "Now do you understand why Birbal is more important to me? It is not enough if you complete a task. You have to use your intelligence to do a little more work.’

The minister’s face fell. He had learnt the importance of being Birbal, the hard way.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Birbal Stories # 2 - Birbal catches a thief

Birbal was one of the nine gems in the court of emperor Akbar. He was respected by everyone for his intelligence and wit. Whenever Akbar was in difficulty, he called Birbal for help.
Akbar was very fond of jewellery. He had many rings of gold, pearls and diamonds. His favourite ring was the one with a large diamond at the centre and pearls around.
At the emperor’s palace, there were eight servants who looked after his clothes and jewellery. They also helped him get ready to go to the court. No one else was allowed to enter his room.
One day, the Emperor wanted to wear his favourite ring. But it was missing. Akbar ordered a search for the ring. But no one could find it.
Akbar then asked his men to call Birbal. When Birbal came, he told him about the robbery and asked for help. Birbal called all the eight servants who were in charge of the Emperor’s room.
He gave each of them a stick of the same size and asked them to come back with it the next day. He told them that the stick of the person who had stolen the ring would become longer by one inch that night.
The next morning, the eight servants stood in a line with their sticks. Birbal caught hold of one of them and took him to Akbar.
The man fell at Akbar’s feet and admitted that he had stolen the ring.
The king was surprised. He asked Birbal how he found out the culprit. Birbal said the thief had cut his stick by an inch fearing that it would grow.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Birbal Stories # 1 - Introduction of Birbal

Dear Friends,

Let me take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful, bright, prosperous, joyous, healthy, peaceful and greatly satisfying new year 2012.

To start the new year on a positive note, let us begin this month of January with the witty stories of Birbal, so that the year is filled with lot of wits, positive energy and intellect. Today, we will first understand how Birbal got introduced to Akbar.

Emperor Akbar loved to go hunting. On one such trip, he came across a young man named Mahesh Das. In the meeting that occurred, the Emperor was extremely impressed by the wit of Mahesh Das. The Emperor gave Mahesh Das his ring and asked him to come and visit him in his palace at any time.

A few years later Mahesh Das decided to try his luck in the city and to take the emperor up on his offer. He reached the city of Agra where Emperor Akbar had his fort on the banks of the Yamuna River. At the gate of the fort he was greeted by the guards. He told them that he had come to visit with the emperor.

The guards looked at him in disdain (since he was not very well dressed) and asked him why they should let him in. He showed them the ring that was given to him by the emperor as proof. One of the guards realized that this individual obviously was of importance to the emperor and gave him permission to enter, based on one condition:the young man would share half of what he received from the emperor with the guard.

Mahesh Das promised to do so and was given access into the court of Emperor Akbar. He bowed to the emperor as he went in and showed him the ring. The reputedly benevelont Emperor Akbar recognized the ring and the young man and immediately offered him anything he wanted. The young man thought a while, and asked the emperor for fifty lashes of the whip.

The emperor was amazed but he knew that Mahesh Das was a very astute young man and asked him for his reason for his wish. Mahesh Das revealed to the emperor that deal that he had made with the guard outside the fort. The emperor was thoroughly amused and angry at the same time. He awarded the fifty lashes to the guard for his impertinence and his habit of bullying people.

He rewarded Mahesh Das by including him in his court and giving him all the comforts he could desire. He also bestowed on him the name of Birbal.