Thursday, 25 July 2013

A donkey’s burden

How many of us can walk up to our superior and tell him/her that he/she is nothing better than a donkey and make get away with it?

Well, there was one man who could do it and convincingly. It was none other than Birbal.

One day, the Emperor went to a river along with his two sons. Birbal, as always, accompanied the Emperor. Suddenly Akbar decided to have a bath in the river. His sons too were tempted to follow their father.The threesome entered the river, making Birbal the clothes hangar. Birbal stood on the bank of the river, with royal clothes on his ministerial shoulders.

The very sight made the king laugh and he quipped to Birbal that he looked like the washer man with a donkey’s load on his shoulder. On hearing their father’s comment, the two boys started laughing. The King joined them and as the three of them were having fun at Birbal’s cost, Birbal stood silently.

He remained calm and unperturbed. He did not allow the king’s remarks to anger him. He decided to respond with nonchalance. He told the king that the washer man was responsible for only one donkey’s load. The king and his sons stopped in their tracks and there was a deafening silence. At the end of it, the king started laughing again, this time at himself and his sons.

In a while the three of them were out of the water and set foot towards the palace. 

Akbar turned towards Birbal in an apologetic manner. Birbal smiled at the King and said, “Jahanpannah, good humour thrives when both sides can take it evenly. I am happy to be in the company of a jovial person.”