Rama’s family is very big. Rama is a hard worker and he is the sole bread winner of the family. He has three kids, two sons and a daughter. He lives along with father and mother. Rama used to work too hard to feed his family.

He works for more than 16 hours a day. The kids cannot see him as he will leave home early in the morning before they wake-up and reach home around midnight when kids would sleep every day. The entire family eagerly wait to spend quality time with him and the kids miss him so much.

The children were too curious about Sundays as his father would spend the entire day with them. Unfortunately, to meet the increasing household expenses and educational expenses, Rama took a weekend job to work even on Sundays. The kids were very shattered and even Rama’s wife and parents too!

The typical routine continued for several weeks and year passed. All the hard work of Rama earned a lot of benefits and he was offered promotion with attractive increment.

The family moved to a new house, got better clothes and ate healthy foods. However, as usual, Rama continues to earn more and more money. One day his wife asked him ‘why are you running for money? We can be happy with what we have now.’

Rama replied, ‘I want to give the best available in the world to all of you and want you to stay happy always.’

Two years passed and Rama hardly spent time with his family. The children yearned to have their father at home. Meanwhile, the sincere efforts of Rama reaped him a fortune. He was offered partnership and share in profits. He continued to earn more and more wealth.

Now, Rama’s family is one of the richest families in the city. They have all the facilities and luxuries. Still, Rama’s children strove to meet their father as he was hardly seen at home.

His children turned teens and they are no more kids. Now, Rama earned enough wealth to provide a luxurious life to his next five generations.

Rama’s family went to their beach house to spend their vacation. His daughter asked, ‘Dad will you please spend one day at home and stay with us here?’

Rama replied, ‘Yes darling, tomorrow for sure, I will join you for the lunch and be with you all for next few days. I’m tired of work and need refreshment!’

The entire family became very happy.

Unfortunately, the next day, none in Rama’s family were alive as they were washed out in Tsunami!

Rama was too busy even to hear the news about Tsunami. When he tried to reach his beach house, he saw sea and water everywhere and screamed for his family, He could not even find the dead bodies of his family.

He can never have them again, cannot even see them and even by paying millions he cannot get them back to life!

He remembered his wife’s words, ‘Why are you running for money? We can be happy with what we have now.’

Money can’t buy everything!

What The Drop Taketh

The anecdotes of Emperor Akbar and his trusted aide Birbal are entertaining as well as enlightening. Once, the Emperor received the gift of a rare perfume. As he opened the bottle, a drop of perfume fell to the floor. Akbar instinctively moved to retrieve it by wiping the floor with his finger. As he looked up he noticed a bemused look on Birbal’s face… his eyes seemed to mock the Emperor for being scrounging.

To change Birbal’s perception, Akbar summoned him the next morning to his bath. He asked his attendants to fill up the bathtub with the best of perfumes. Akbar sought to show Birbal that as Emperor he could afford to waste as much perfume, as he wanted. Birbal when asked to react said the immortal lines, “Boond se jati, woh haudh se nahi aati” (An entire tub full cannot retrieve what the drop took way!)

Birbal sought to tell the Emperor that his earlier instinctive action (that exhibited miserliness) could not be undone by an intentional action (aimed at big-heartedness). Our character is determined by our reactions, not by forced posturing. It is better to be transparent then wear favorable masks. In fact every little action and reaction, every spoken word and emerging thought reflects our true self!

The Well Dispute

Once there was a complaint at King Akbar’s court.

There were two neighbors who shared their garden. In that garden, there was a well that was possessed by Iqbal Khan. His neighbor, who was a farmer wanted to buy the well for irrigation purpose. Therefore they signed an agreement between them, after which the farmer owned the well.

Even after selling the well to the farmer, Iqbal continued to fetch water from the well. Angered by this, the farmer had come to get justice from King Akbar.

King Akbar asked Iqbal the reason for fetching water from the well even after selling it to the farmer.

Iqbal replied that he had sold only the well to the farmer but not the water inside it.

King Akbar wanted Birbal who was present in the court listening to the problem to solve the dispute.

Birbal came forward and gave a solution. He said ” Iqbal, You say that you have sold only the well to the farmer. And you claim that the water is yours. Then how come you can keep your water inside another person’s well without paying rent?”

Iqbal’s trickery was countered thus in a tricky way. The farmer got justice and Birbal was fairly rewarded.

The King of Iran had heard that Birbal was one of the wisest men in the East and desirous of meeting him sent him an invitation to visit his country.

In due course, Birbal arrived in Iran.

When he entered the palace he was flabbergasted to find not one but six kings seated there.

All looked alike. All were dressed in kingly robes. Who was the real king?

The very next moment he got his answer. Confidently, he approached the king and bowed to him.

“But how did you identify me?” the king asked, puzzled.

Birbal smiled and explained: “The false kings were all looking at you, while you yourself looked straight ahead. Even in regal robes, the common people will always look to their king for support.”

Overjoyed, the king embraced Birbal and showered him with gifts.

A man who made spears and shields once came to Akbar’s court.

“Your Majesty, nobody can make shields and spears to equal mine,” he said. “My shields are so strong that nothing can pierce them and my spears are so sharp that there’s nothing they cannot pierce.”

“I can prove you wrong on one count certainly,” said Birbal suddenly.

“Impossible!” declared the man.

“Hold up one of your shields and I will pierce it with one of your spears,” said Birbal with a smile.

Famous musicians once gathered at Akbar’s court for a competition.

The one who could capture a bull’s interest was to be declared the winner.

One by one, they played the most heavenly music but the bull paid no attention.

Then Birbal took the stage. His music sounded like the droning of mosquitoes and the mooing of cows.

But to everyone’s amazement the bull suddenly became alert and began to move in a lively manner.

Akbar declared Birbal the winner.

One day the Emperor Akbar stumbled on a rock in his garden. He was in a foul mood that day and the accident made him so angry that he ordered the gardener’s arrest and execution.

The next day when the gardener was asked what his last wish was before he was hanged, he requested an audience with the emperor.

This wish was granted, but when the man neared the throne he loudly cleared his throat and spat at the emperor’s feet.

The emperor was taken aback and demanded to know why he had done such a thing. The gardener had acted on Birbal’s advice and now Birbal stepped forward in the man’s defence.

“Your Majesty,” he said, “there could be no person more loyal to you than this unfortunate man. Fearing that people would say you hanged him for a trifle, he has gone out of his way to give you a genuine reason for hanging him.”

The emperor, realizing that he had been about to do a great injustice, set the man free.

One day Emperor Akbar was inspecting the law and order situation in the kingdom. One of his ministers, who was jealous of Raja Birbal, complained that the Emperor gave importance only to Birbal’s suggestions and all the other ministers were ignored.

Akbar wanted the minister to know how wise Birbal was.

There was a marriage procession going on.

The Emperor ordered the minister to enquire whose marriage it was. The minister found out and walked towards the Emperor wearing a proud expression on his face.

Then the king called Birbal and asked him too to enquire whose marriage was going on. When Birbal returned, Akbar asked the minister “Where are the couple going?” The minister said that the king had only asked him to enquire whose marriage was going on.

Then Akbar asked Birbal the same question. “O My Majesty! They are going to the city of Allahabad,” replied Raja Birbal. Now the King turned towards the minister and said, “Now do you understand why Birbal is more important to me? It is not enough if you complete a task. You have to use your intelligence to do a little more work.’ The minister’s face fell. He had learnt the importance of being Birbal, the hard way.

One day Emperor Akbar asked Birbal what he would choose if he were given a choice between justice and a gold coin.

“The gold coin,” said Birbal.

Akbar was taken aback.

“You would prefer a gold coin to justice?” he asked, incredulously.

“Yes,” said Birbal.

The other courtiers were amazed by Birbal’s display of idiocy.

For years they had been trying to discredit Birbal in the emperor’s eyes but without success and now the man had gone and done it himself!

They could not believe their good fortune.

“I would have been dismayed if even the lowliest of my servants had said this,” continued the emperor. “But coming from you it’s . . . it’s shocking – and sad. I did not know you were so debased!”

“One asks for what one does not have, Your Majesty!” said Birbal, quietly. “You have seen to it that in our country justice is available to everybody. So as justice is already available to me and as I’m always short of money I said I would choose the gold coin.”

The emperor was so pleased with Birbal’s reply that he gave him not one but a thousand gold coins.

There lived a saint in an ashram in the kingdom of Emperor Akbar.

He was believed to prophecy the future correctly.

Once he had a visitor who had come to treat their niece. The child’s parents were killed in front of the girl’s eyes. Once she saw the saint, she started to scream loudly saying that that saint was the culprit.

Angered by the girl’s words, the saint demanded the couple to get away with their child.

The whole day the girl cried which made the couple to realize that the girl was not lying.

Therefore, they decided to seek the help of Birbal.

Birbal consoled them and asked them to wait at the Emperor’s assembly. Birbal had invited the saint to Akbar’s court too.

Then in front of all the ministers he drew a sword and neared the saint to kill him. The saint in bewilderment immediately drew another sword and began to fight. Thus by this act of the saint it was proved that he wasn’t blind.

Therefore, Akbar demanded to hang the culprit and rewarded the girl for her bravery for telling the truth even at the critical situation.