Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Birbal and his boss

For most of us working in the corporate world today there are only two rules. As someone rightly put it
“Rule No.1 – The boss is always right.
Rule No.2 – If the boss is wrong see rule No. 1”

In the case of Birbal it was no different.

One day Birbal was visiting the royal farms and the duo hit upon a stretch of cabbage fields. The King commented that cabbage was a wonderful vegetable and the most nutritious one. To this Birbal replied, “Most correct Shah Alam. It has every quality worthy of a King!”

After a long tour they returned to the palace. After a few days, Emperor Akbar wanted to visit the same cabbage fields again. Birbal knew that the king was going to throw some odd question at him. Nevertheless he agreed and accompanied the King to the farms. 

This time when the King and his loyal minister passed through the cabbages, the Emperor remarked that cabbages were the most disgusting among vegetables. The King further added that cabbages were tasteless and such deserved to be shunned!

Birbal kept as straight a face as possible while replying to the king’s comments. “Yes your Majesty. I have always felt that we must stop growing cabbages in our kingdom as they are tasteless and even looking at the vegetable is difficult.” It was Akbar’s turn to be surprised. But the Emperor proceeded without any further discussion.

As they rode back towards the palace, Emperor Akbar could no longer contain himself and stopped his horse. Birbal too, stopped his horse and turned towards the King.

Akbar asked Birbal how he could talk so differently about the same subject on two different days.

“The last time you agreed that cabbage was the king of vegetables and today you find them to be tasteless?” asked Akbar. Birbal smiled and replied, “Jahanpannah, I am your servant and not the servant of the cabbage.”

Emperor Akbar was humbled by Birbal’s reply and rode back to the palace, contended at having such a loyal minister by his side!