Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Birbal's kichri

On a cold winter day, Akbar and Birbal took a walk along the lake. A thought came into Birbal's mind that a man would do anything for money. He expressed his feelings to Akbar. The Emperor then put his fingers into the lake and immediately removed it because he shivered with cold.
Akbar said," I don't think a man would spend an entire night in the cold water of this lake for money."
Birbal replied,"I am sure I can find such a person."
Akbar then challenged Birbal to find such a person and said he would reward that person with a thousand gold coins.
Birbal searched far and wide until he found a poor man who was desperate enough to accept the challenge. The poor man entered the lake and Akbar had guards posted near him to make sure that he really did as promised.
The next morning the guards took the poor man to Akbar. The Emperor asked the poor man if he had indeed spent the night in the lake. The poor man replied that he did. Akbar then asked the poor man how he managed to spend the night in the lake. The poor man replied that there was a street lamp nearby and he kept his attention there on the lamp and away from the cold. Akbar then said that there would be no reward as the poor man had spent the night in the lake by the warmth of the street lamp. The poor man went to Birbal for help.
The next day, Birbal did not go to Court. Wondering where he was, Akbar sent a messenger to his home. The messenger came back saying that Birbal would come to Court once his Khichri was cooked. The Emperor waited for hours but Birbal did not come. Finally, Akbar decided to go to Birbal's house and see what he was up to.
He found Birbal sitting on the floor near some burning twigs and a utensil filled with kichri hanging five feet above the fire. The Emperor and his attendants couldn't help but laugh
Akbar then asked Birbal, "How can the khichri be cooked if it is so far away from the fire?"
Birbal answered, "The same way the poor man received heat from a street lamp that was more than a furlong away."
The Emperor realised his mistake and gave the poor man his reward.

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