Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Trap we set for others…

One day the great Emperor Akbar was very angry. He called out to his most trusted minister, Birbal.

“Birbal”, roared the King. “Yes, your majesty” replied the most tactful minister of Akbar.

“I want all the sons-in-law beheaded and at once” said the King who, by now was unapproachable.

Birbal simply agreed with the king without further questioning him. Two days later the still angry King met Birbal regarding the arrangements for executing all the sons-in-law of the soil.

Birbal told the emperor that all arrangements are being made and the scaffolds are being erected for the purpose. Even Birbal shuddered to look into the eyes of his Emperor and wondered what could have gone wrong.

He had never seen Akbar in such a state of anger before. Finally, one day, Birbal summoned up enough courage to face the king. “Shah Alam, what has made you take such a decision? I have always prided in the fact that my Emperor kindness personified” Birbal inquired earnestly.

“Well,” said the Emperor, “I have a foolish son-in-law who has been troubling my daughter. Therefore I understand that all sons-in-law must be alike and they do not have any right to burden the earth more than they have. I am only laying a trap to catch these rats” said Akbar, still very angry. After Akbar left, Birbal smiled to himself, a relieved man.

The next day Birbal told the Emperor that the scaffolds were ready for his inspection. Akbar was impatient and wanted to see the arrangements made for the grand execution of the sons-in-law!

Birbal accompanied Akbar to the open ground where huge stages with individual scaffolds erected. Akbar took very slow and deliberate steps towards the stage. As he walked around he asked Birbal if the count was correct. “Have you taken into account every single son-in-law? I don’t want any of them to get missed out. They can cause such misery to women, you know” he said to the most loyal and witty minister of his court. Birbal, silently amused, said nothing.

As they came to the center of the ground, there were two scaffolds that seemed different from the others. Akbar asked Birbal pointing to the two and asked him who those were meant for?

Birbal hesitated for a couple of minutes and in a very low voice told the king that he had asked for special silver scaffolds for His Majesty’s son-in-law. Akbar was impatient.

“Then is the second one there made of gold?” he inquired. “Yes your majesty. That is for the most special son-in-law of the soil” said Birbal, offering no further explanation.
The Emperor went red in his face as he understood what Birbal meant. After a few minutes of silence the King regained his composure and cleared his throat.

“Well, Birbal. I fell into the trap I laid for others. Anger blinded the clarity in my thinking. Thank you, once again, for saving me from certain disgrace” said Akbar.
Birbal heaved a sigh of relief and the two great men embraced each other