Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Not one more, not one less!

One day Akbar and his wise counselor Birbal were taking a stroll around the kingdom. Emperor Akbar enjoyed such outing with Birbal as Birbal was quick witted and therefore liked to tease him with strange questions. Birbal, on his part, knew how to deal with the questions and this kept them happy in each others' company.

As the duo was walking, Akbar suddenly looked skywards and asked Birbal how many crows were there in the kingdom. Birbal smiled to himself, before replying to the Emperor’s question. 

“Jahanpannah” said Birbal in a very innocent tone, “there were exactly sixty eight thousand four hundred and forty four crows in our kingdom when I last counted them.”
Now it was Akbar’s turn to suppress his smile before pursuing the matter.

“Birbal,” said Akbar, in a tone that matched Birbal’s. “How are you so certain about the count?”

Birbal took only a second to reply. “Jahanpannah, please send your soldiers to count the crows in your majesty’s kingdom. They will find the count to be accurate” said Birbal, brimming with confidence.

“What if there are more?” asked Akbar to test his minister further.

While some crows are on a holiday away, the others are tourists!
Unperturbed, Birbal replied that the new ones are those that are on a holiday from the neighbouring kingdom.

“Oh” said the King, still not satisfied. “And what if the crows are lesser in number? How do you account for the shortage?” teased Akbar.

“That’s simple your majesty. Some of the crows from our kingdom have accepted invitations extended to them by their friends from the neighbouring kingdom and are holidaying with them abroad, Shah Alam” concluded a witty Birbal.

How does it matter who questions you or what the question is? 

Humour can cut through your opposition like hot knife over butter!