It was winter season, Emperor Akbar was walking in his garden with Birbal and another minister. While walking, Emperor Akbar said to his minister, “It is getting very cold this year. Is the condition getting worse from the cold even in coming out of the palace? Responding to the king’s words, the minister said, “Yes sir, you are absolutely right. This year it is getting so cold that the public has reduced going out of the house very little.
While walking, Emperor Akbar reached the bank of the pond built in the garden. As soon as he put his hand in the water, he realized that the water was as cold as ice. Taking out his hand from the water, Akbar said, “You are right. Who will come out of the house in this cold.
Seeing Birbal silent, the king asked Birbal, “What do you think about this, Birbal?” Birbal bowed his head and said, “I am sorry sir, I have a different idea about this. I do not agree with both of you.
Akbar was surprised and asked Birbal, “Well, then tell us also, what do you think.” Birbal said, “Huzoor, I believe that money is most important for a poor person. It doesn’t matter to him how cold or hot the weather is.” Akbar was surprised and said to Birbal, “So you are saying that even in this cold winter, a poor man will be ready to do any work that can get him money.” Birbal said, “Yes sir, that is what I am saying.”
Emperor Akbar challenged Birbal and said, “Well then, if you prove this by keeping someone standing overnight in this pond full of ice-like water, then we will give 20 gold coins to the poor person you brought.” Will give as a reward.
Agreeing with the king, Birbal promised to present a poor man the next day.
The next day in the assembly, Emperor Akbar asked Birbal whether he had brought someone who could spend the whole night standing in the pond. On this Birbal presented a poor man named Gangadhar in the court and said that he is ready to spend the whole night in the pond for 20 gold coins. Emperor Akbar ended the meeting and said that it is okay, two soldiers will watch this person throughout the night.
The next day the court was held again and the king asked Birbal about Gangadhar, “Birbal, where is your friend? How long could he last in that icy water?” Birbal said, Maharaj he is right here. I want permission to present him in the court. As soon as the permission of the king was received, Birbal called Gangadhar to the court.
Emperor Akbar praised Gangadhar and said, “We cannot believe that you stayed in that ice-like water all night and are standing right in front of us today. how did you do it Tell the whole assembly.”
Gangadhar said, “Your Highness, in the beginning it was very difficult, but after some time, I saw a lamp burning in a window of the palace. I spent the whole night looking at that lamp. Emperor Akbar was shocked and said, “This is a fraud, you spent the whole night in the heat of the burning lamp of our palace. Fraud! We are not punishing you for this deception of yours, but you are no longer entitled to this reward. Saying this, Akbar asked his soldiers to take Gangadhar out of the palace and ended the meeting and went to his room.
The next day the meeting was held as usual, when Emperor Akbar came to the meeting, he saw that all the courtiers were present at their respective places, except Birbal. The king asked a soldier where Birbal was, to which he told that he had not come to the palace today. The king asked the soldier to immediately go to Birbal’s house and bring him.
After some time, the soldier returned to the court alone. On being asked by the king, the soldier said, “Birbal is cooking food at his house and he has said that he will come to the court only after the food is fully cooked.” The king got into thinking after hearing these words of the soldier, because never before today Birbal was late in coming to the palace. Akbar had some doubts and decided to go to Birbal’s house.
When Emperor Akbar reached Birbal’s house, he saw Birbal hanging a handi on a high peg and burning wood on the ground below it. The king was surprised and asked Birbal what he was doing. To this Birbal replied that he was cooking khichdi for his meal. Emperor Akbar said, “Have you gone mad? How can this khichdi be cooked? You have hung the pot so high and the fire is burning below. In such a situation, how will the heat reach the pot to cook the khichdi?
On this, Birbal said to the king with great comfort, “Why won’t Huzoor reach? When Gangadhar can get heat from a lamp placed on the palace window, my pot of khichdi is still very close to the fire.
The king was surprised to hear Birbal’s words and smilingly said, “We understood you very well, Birbal.” After this he called Gangadhar to the palace and rewarded him with 20 gold coins. He also rewarded Birbal for his cleverness.
Learning from the story:
Children, we learn from the story of Birbal’s Khichdi that one should not judge others without knowing the hard work done behind their success.