Thursday, 11 July 2013

The grass is green and the horse is not!

One day Akbar was sitting along with some of his ministers on a lawn surrounded by trees. He was talking to his ministers about the good effects of the colour green. Some of the ministers readily agreed with the Jahanpannah. Akbar was enjoying both the greenery, and the attention that he was getting from his ministers as he was getting generous amounts of both!

He wanted to tease the ministers some more and told them that had the horse that he was riding been green, his health would have been much better. One of the hitherto silent ministers spoke out loud and clear. He asked the Emperor to express his desire to Birbal as he would know where to fetch the green horse from.

“Let us see if Birbal can fetch a green horse. His inability to get a green horse will show him in poor light,” thought the minister who seemed to like green, though for different reasons!

Akbar was intrigued. He wanted to see how Birbal would tackle this. Therefore, upon his return to the palace, he summoned Birbal. He expressed his desire to ride a green horse. Birbal smiled silently and asked the emperor for a few days’ time to get the King a green horse.

The Emperor agreed and Birbal went home, a rather confused man. He thought of painting a horse green and presenting it before the King, but dismissed the idea as foolish, instantly.

Time was ticking and he could not find a satisfactory solution to the problem. Birbal’s wife saw him pacing up and down the hallway and was quite surprised. She had never seen her husband in such a tense mood.

She approached her husband with both caution and care. She asked him what the matter was. Birbal told his wife the predicament that he was in. She could offer no solution either. She left the place mumbling, “The grass is green and the horse is not!”
Suddenly an idea stuck Birbal and he thanked his wife for her brilliant statement.
He left for the court, a very relieved and cheerful man.

When his turn to speak came, he humbly got up and bowed in front of the King and other courtiers. He then told the king that he had found the only green horse available on the earth and that the person who owned it lived in their kingdom itself!

The king was both surprised and amused. He knew that something interesting is waiting to unfold itself and geared up to it. He gestured Birbal to continue. Birbal told the court that the man who owned the horse was pretty old. Therefore he had requested the Emperor to meet him at his house.

The entire court stood up in unison ready to leave with Birbal to take a look at the green wonder!

“But,” said Birbal, “he has put forth a very unique condition.”

The courtiers and the king waited eagerly as Birbal continued. “He has asked us to come to his house on any day barring the seven days of the week,” said Birbal with no expression on his face. 

But the expressions on the face of the courtiers and the Emperor said it all!

The eight day of the week fetched the emperor a green horse!