Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tales of Akbar Birbal part 2

Birbal's Stew

This video clip shows yet another story of Akbar and Birbal. This short story shows yet again the intelligence used by Birbal to point out the mistake done by the king as he could not directly say so as it would have meant the disrespect of his king, and could enrage the king's wrath for the same.

The emperor Akbar goes out for a stroll with Birbal and another person named Lalaji, a jee Hujoor(Yes man) in his beautiful gardens. While the walk Akbar feels the cold weather and says that, that particular year cold was, the yes man agrees and the king is happy.

The king says that whatever the people has to work cold or no cold. The yes man agrees and adds that, still most people prefer to stay at the comforts of home in this extremely harsh weather. King Akbar dips his fingers in the cold water of his pond and finds it extremely chilling. Akbar responds his yes man by saying that he too was telling the truth, nobody would like to go out and work in such extreme cold.

Birbal who has been watching this pleasing game, and knowing the poor condition of some civilians from the Akbar rule drops in the i please you, you please me conversation. He says that he does not feel so. Akbar feels disappointed by this disturbance in the gay conversation. He cautions Birbal that he should not cut his talk always. Birbal asks for the apologies and continues that he did not meant cutting the kings thoughts , but wanted to make him aware that in his rule, there were some people who would get ready to come out and work in extreme conditions for their families survival. King Akbar asks whether Birbal wanted to say that people were ready to anything for some money. Birbal replies in positive that yes he wanted to say that there were people who would work in any conditions for money.

The king denies and says that he cannot believe anyone would cross a particular border for making money, Lalaji the yes man is quick to agree with the king. Birbal sticks to his viewpoint and says that there were people in his kingdom, who would get ready for such work as the situation demands from them. The king demands for the evidence for the same from Birbal. He asks Birbal to find a man who would stand in the freezing waters of the pond for whole night for 10 gold coins. Birbal accepts the challenge with confidence.

The confidence that Birbal had, he said he will find a man for the job same day. Lalaji the yes man denies that a man can be such a fool to stand in the freezing waters for whole night for mere ten gold coins and continues that even if someone gets ready for the job, he will not survive the night. Akbar asks Birbal to prove his point the same night. Akbar was sure that Birbal was wrong this time and he had the upper hand this time. It became a war of Akbar's pride, with his trusted and most wise courts man.

In emperor Akbar's darbar (court) Birbal declares that he found the man, who would stand in the freezing waters for whole night. Akbar is eager to met such man and orders to see him. A man name Gangaram is brought in front of the king. The king asks Gangaram if Birbal has explained to him, what he is supposed to do. The man affirms that he knew that he has to spent a night in freezing water of pond of the garden for 10 gold coins. Akbar asks him if was scared of the quest of survival of standing in the freezing water or he was not aware of the coldness of the water and the night. Gangaram affirms that he was aware of the harsh conditions that could put the danger of his own survival. Akbar is not pleased with the answer as he smells his defeat, and says that accepting this survival threatening job was mere stupidity. His ego was not letting him realize the poor situation of the man. The king orders that the man should be properly entertained as he feared that, the night could be the last night of his life. He also ordered two soldiers to be present by the pond side to see that the man completes his job or not.

The king leaves the court saying that he will see them the next morning. Next morning Akbar arrives in the court, with the confidence of his victory. He asks Birbal what happened to the man. Birbal tells him that the man is waiting outside and king himself could inquire to him. The man is called in the durbar (court). The feeble man makes the appearance in the court. Akbar asks him how the night was. The man replied that it was not at all and easy task, with the grace of almighty God it passed somehow. Akbar says in authoritative voice that he did not believe that the man passed the whole night in the pond. The man in voice filled with fear says that he did passed the whole night in pond and the king could ask two soldiers that were kept by him as eye witness. The soldiers are asked by the king if what the man says was true and that he did his job. The soldiers said that they were vigilant whole night the man did complete the job.

Akbar said that it was unbelievable for him and asks the man how he was able to do this extremely difficult task. The man replied that in the beginning it was very difficult and he panicked. His body started freezing, then he watched a lamp in the garden and gazing on the lamp he prayed all night to the almighty God. The stubbornness of not losing this time made the king evil for moments. He said that now he understood the reason for his survival and completing the task. He said that the man cheated he took help of the heat emitted from the lamp and denied paying him the ten gold coins he promised, and said that the man should feel lucky that he did not punish him for the cheating. The soldiers are ordered to remove the man out of the curt.

The king turns towards Birbal and tells him that he should accept the defeat this time. Birbal apologize for his mistake of going against the king. The king is pleased and says that it was human to err. The king says that now they should proceed to normal workings of the kingdoms office. He says that he wanted to present a gift to the Shah of Iran and if Birbal had any good idea about the gift to be presented. Birbal asks for excuse that he had some personal work at his home. The king grants him the permission and asks him to come back soon.

Birbal leaves and is not seen for long. Next day the king misses him badly and asks the horseman to go to Birbal's home and call him. The horseman returns with the answer that Birbal will return after his meals. After some more time the king gets eager and sends horseman again only to get the reply that the food for meals was yet cooking. After couple of more hours the king eagerness grows and he suspects some irregularity in Birbal's behavior. He decides that he himself will visit Birbal and see what's going on. He takes few horsemen along with him and march to Bibal's home.

He is amazed by what he sees there. Birbal was sitting in front of stew. The vessel in which the the food was cooked was suspended at some height from the fire below. The king says to Birbal if he had gone crazy, how is the food suppose to be cooked when the vessel that contained it was hung high from the fire. Birbal replied that if a poor man in pond could get heat from a small lamp far away,the fire for cooking was much more than the lamp and the vessel much more near than the man from the lamp. It should easily cook the food. The emperor suddenly recognized his mistake done and injustice done to poor man of his own kingdom.

More inspirational short stories to read online on this blog

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