Akbar was always full of praise for Birbal’s wit and sense of humour and because of this the other courtiers had grown jealous of Birbal. They always looked out for an opportunity to let Birbal down in the eyes of the Emperor.
Once, one of them approached Akbar and said, “Huzoor, you have found all of us worthy to being inducted in your royal court. But, we have observed that you assign most of the tasks to Raja Birbal only. This deeply hurts us. We can also do the same what Birbal can do, just give us a try.”
Sensing the growing resentment in the courtiers, Akbar said, “Very fine! Let me give you some work.” He thought for a while and said, “I will give you three rupees. You have to buy three things from one rupee each. The first thing should be of ‘here’, the second thing should be of ‘there’, and the third thing should be of ‘neither here, nor there.’”
The jealous courtier immediately rushed to the market and asked for those things from the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper laughed loudly, “Where in the world did you come to hear about such strange things? No such things exist in this world!”
The courtier did not give up easily and kept looking for the things required by the Emperor, from one shop to the other. After a day’s long and tiring search, the courtier got completely exhausted. He was not able to walk anymore. He dragged himself to the court and reported to Emperor, “Jahanpanah, I am sorry to have come empty handed. I tried my best but failed to get the things that you had asked for. Such things do not exist in this world! So, if Birbal can get those things for you, then all of us will accept his superiority over us.”
Akbar, then called Birbal and asked him to bring the same things. Birbal said, “Very well, Jahanpanah! I shall bring the things you desire by tomorrow morning.”
Next day as Birbal came in the court, Akbar asked him what he bought with those three rupees.
Birbal said, “Yes Jahanpanah, I gave the first rupee to a needy beggar. That reached God, from here to there, in another world. I spent the second rupee to buy some sweets, hence it was used here and I spent the third rupee in playing dice. We can say that this rupee was neither used here nor there (the other world).”
All courtiers were astonished to hear Birbal’s logic. Akbar was pleased to hear Birbal’s intelligent reply and rewarded him handsomely.
Moral: Even if you are faced with a seemingly unsolvable puzzle, you can apply your logic and please people!
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