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Akbar and Birbal

There was once a wise and successful emperor in India named Akbar. He was tolerant of all religions and is remembered with respect by Indians of all communities.

He had a friend Birbal who was wise, intelligent....and very funny!

When Akbar first met Birbal, he thought that he would very much like to have this wise man as a companion. He took off his ring and gave it to Birbal. He told Birbal that if he ever wished to meet him, he should come to the palace, send in the ring, and whatever request he had, Akbar the Emperor would be pleased to grant it.

Sooner or later, Birbal decided to go and meet the Emperor. He met the Chief Guard at the palace, showed the ring and asked to meet the Emperor. Recognising the ring, the Chief Guard realised that this man was in a position to get great favours from the Emperor. So he advised him that he would allow him to meet the Emperor. "However," he said, "whatever the Emperor gives you, you must promise to give me half of it!" Birbal readily agreed.

So Birbal met the Emperor. The Emperor was very pleased with him and told him to ask for whatever he wanted. So, Birbal said, as cool as a breeze "Your Imperial Majesty, my greatest desire is to have fifty lashes of the whip!" Greatly surprised, the Emperor asked why. "Because the Chief Guard has asked me to give him half of whatever you give me. So twenty five for him and twenty five for me!"

The Emperor, furious with his Chief Guard for corrupt behaviour, ordered that the full punishment (i.e. fifty lashes!!!) be given to the Chief Guard. And Birbal? Well, he must have been given land, money, titles, jewellery! But he never did give any of these to the Chief Guard!

When someone tries to cheat you, do this to them!


  1. Love hearing these kinds of stories. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I see you've changed your website! I do like the story. Man, this blog a day is hard and fun at the same time!

  3. We could do with some Akbars now.

    If you do not mind my saying something out of the ordinary here, I find it extremely difficult to read the new black background presentation of your site.

  4. Gaelikaa, I love your writing and eagerly await your posting, BUT, alas I of the older eyes find it impossible to read in the new design. It is something I have been rather vocal about at Barcamps in Ireland. The feint font on a dark background makes for difficult reading.

    I did try to read this post last night before my broadband died, but am now struggling again today.
    Please help!

  5. Much better. Thank you.

  6. Lovely gaelikaa. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Lovely gaelikaa. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Wonderful and wise, the fables of my culture are riddled with stories like this.;)
    I love the design of your blog.;)
    Thank you for always kind words at my place.;)

  9. Great story and beautifully told write so well xxx


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