No One Is Alone With A Friend Like…Another Akbar-Birbal Episode

akbarbirbal

Emperor Akbar was known to come up with whimsical questions that he would expect to be satisfactorily answered. This time he put this question to his court and asked Birbal to conduct the proceedings and find an answer:

‘Who is a man’s best friend?’

After a long silence and much encouragement from Birbal to speak up, a voice from the assembly set the ball rolling:

‘Well, I would say ‘Money’. If you’ve money, you’ll live comfortably.’

‘Is that money never leaves you or you never?’ Birbal posed.

‘Surely you have it to spend and if you spend, it goes.’

‘So…’

A young man ventured next: ‘It’s my horse. It’s always with me. I take care of her and she takes me everywhere.’

‘If you come across a river too deep for the horse and you need to get to the other side?’

‘Simple. I’ll get off my horse, secure it to a tree, dive into the waters and swim across.’

‘There you’re.’

This time it was a man of action: ‘To me, my sword is my best friend.’

‘Well, what do you do with the sword in times of peace as it mostly prevails in our Emperor’s reign? Of course, you could cut fruits. And still no help in getting to eat them – a spoon does better.’

A round of muted laughter.

Then a man of god got up, puffed out his chest as he claimed: ‘My faith is my ever-abiding friend.’

Everyone was keenly looking at Birbal to see his response.

Birbal grabbed a walking stick from an old man as he slowly walked up to the man of god.

In a not-so-sudden flourish he swung the stick bringing it down on the man’s head.

There was enough time for the man to break the blow to his head with two hands. No harm done.

Birbal

Birbal returned to his seat and with an exaggerated bow towards the man said: ’Thanks you, Sir. You alone got it right. Your friend truly stood by you in the face of danger. I apologize for the little bit of drama.’

The man of faith regained his composure once again puffing out his chest feeling vindicated.

Birbal summed up for the expectant court and a more-than-keen Emperor:

‘What stays with a man through all times, protects him from many a danger, helps him earn a living and eat his roti (bread), would you all agree that would be man’s best friend?’

The court saw no reason to disagree and chorused a loud ‘Yes’. Many already had their answer.

‘Of course it would be his hands!’

There was a flutter in the court ending in most nods than nays.

Needless to add the Emperor was mighty pleased with Birbal’s verdict.

End

Pls see here for an earlier Akbar-Birbal episode: https://ksriranga.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/an-akbar-birbal-episode-never-told-before/
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Credit: indianchild.com for the image

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2 Responses to No One Is Alone With A Friend Like…Another Akbar-Birbal Episode

  1. Birbal was really a very very wise man if all these stories are real!

    Like

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