Birbal Shortens Road
Once the Emperor Akbar was traveling to a distant place along with some of his courtiers. It was a hot day and the Emperor was tired of his journey. He asked querulously – “Can’t any shorten this road for me?” Birbal said – “Yes, I can.” The other courtiers looked at one another perplexed. All of then knew that there was no other path through the hilly terrain. The road on which they were traveling, was the only one that could take them to destination. So they were surprised to hear Birbal that he could shorten the road.
The Emperor said – “You can shorten the road? Well, do it.” Birbal said – “I will.” And he started – “Listen to to this story I will tell you now.” And riding beside the Emperor’s palanquin, he started telling him a long story that held Akbar and all others listening to it attentively and spellbound. They had arrived at their destination before they could think anything else.
Exclaimed Akbar – “Oh, we have reached, Birbal. So soon?” Birbal grinned – “Well, That is what you wanted – the road to be shortened.”
Birbal’s Sweet Reply
Akbar used to ask many odd questions from his courtiers and amused himself. One day he entered the Royal Court, settled in his Royal chair, and asked his courtiers:
“What punishment should be given to a person who pulls my mustache?”
One said, “He should be beheaded.”
Another said, “He should be flogged.”
Yet another said, “He should be hanged.”
“What do you think, Birbal?” the Emperor asked Birbal.
Birbal kept quiet for a moment, then said, “Jahaanpanaah, he should be given sweets.”
“What, Birbal? Have you gone crazy? Do you know what are you saying?”
Birbal replied politely, “I am not crazy, Jahaanpanaah. And I know what I am saying.”
“Then how can you talk like this?” the King asked in anger. Birbal again replied politely, “Because, Jahaanpanaah, the only person who can dare to do this is your grandson.”
Akbar was so pleased with this answer, that he gave his ring to Birbal as a reward.
Birbal Gave Birth to the Child
Once somebody had a wound in the palace of the Emperor. The royal Vaidya was called and he suggested that if the milk of a camel is applied on the wound, it will be cured soon. The Emperor announced it in his court that he needed camel’s milk. Everybody was surprised to hear this but could not say anything.
A couple of days passed but nobody could find camel’s milk. So Birbal was assigned this work. Birbal tried his best to explain to the Emperor that there is no such thing like camel’s milk, but he said – “When Raaj Vaidya has asked for it, it must exist. Bring it from anywhere.” Birbal got very upset. He went home and thought how to tell the Emperor that there is no such thing like camel’s milk.
Thinking this a couple of days passed and Birbal did not go to the court also. Akbar got worried what has happened to Birbal? He sent somebody to his house to see why he did not come the court. When he went there, he met his daughter washing Birbal’s clothes just outside the house. She greeted the servant. The servant asked her – “What happened Birbal has not come to the court?” The daughter replied – “Last night Birbal had a child.” The servant could not digest this statement but he came back and told this to the Emperor. The Emperor also could not understand this, so he himself decided to to his house and find out the truth.
Seeing the Emperor coming Birbal greeted him. The Emperor asked him – “Birbal, What is this? Can a man give birth to child?”
Birbal politely replied – “Huzoor, When a camel can have milk, why can’t a man give birth to a child?”
The Emperor understood that he was caught unaware. He returned to his palace and cancelled his orders.