Thursday, 25 April 2013

Gift of the gab

 Narrating stories is as joyous as listening is soothing. Here's a tale of a witty minister who served in the court of King Rajasimha.

King Rajasimha ruled over the kingdom of Simhapura. He believed in ruling his kingdom differently. He had ministers to take care of various activities and report the problems faced by them and the improvements that they have brought about in solving the problem. The King did not believe in a single man rule. He gave a lot of importance to the ministers and trusted their wisdom.

The subjects under him were very hard working and the ministers used to take advice from the subjects in solving their problems. The king's attitude of consulting with his ministers percolated downwards and they consulted with the subjects before implementing a rule.

In the kingdom of Simhapura, there was a very witty and wise food minister, by name Rakshasheela. His name and fame had spread far and wide. Many ministers from the neighboring kingdoms were curious to find out more about him. It was rumored that the king took his food minister's advises seriously and would pass it as law, of course after a court room debate with the other ministers. Surprisingly the other ministers were not jealous of him as they received words of wisdom from him in solving their own problems.  

The king often said that food was an important part of human sustenance. For any kingdom to thrive the subjects should have enough on their plate.

“We cannot preach philosophy if our people are hungry”, he often said. The practical approach of the King made the ministers think logically. The people of the kingdom also participated in the welfare of the state and contributed to its betterment.

One day a minister from the neighboring kingdom visited the kingdom of Simhapura in the disguise of a farmer. He requested the king to allow him to attend one of his court discussions. The king, being democratic in his attitude welcomed the farmer to the discussion.

As usual the discussion began and the ministers started presenting their reports. Soon it was the turn of the food minister, Rakshasheela. As soon as he started presenting his report the ‘farmer’ started shouting.  He screamed for all to hear, ‘Hey, you minster, what about hay?’ The food minister tried to ignore the erring entrant and continued with his report. But the man was persistent. He wanted to know about hay.
 Hay happened to be a type of grass or other herbaceous plants. They were further cut, dried and stored for use as animal fodder. It required no special focus, as there were plenty of grass and other plants after harvest.

Rakshasheela explained the procedure of the court to the newcomer. He would be allowed to raise questions at the end of the report and not while he is presenting the report. The ‘farmer’s’ interest in hay did not die.

Rakshasheela continued with his report and once again the man wanted to know about hay.

This time the food minister looked straight at the tantrum thrower and said, ‘Sir, please excuse me, I am talking about human food now. I shall come to yours in a while.’ The whole court room erupted in laughter and the ‘farmer’, having got the reply he wanted made a quick exit!