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.

Once King Akbar questioned Birbal if he knows the number of blind citizens of their kingdom.

Raja Birbal had requested Akbar to give him a week’s time.

The next day Raja Birbal was found to be mending shoes in the town market. People were astonished to see Birbal doing such work. Many of them started to question “Birbal!! What are you doing?”

Once when he was asked this question by someone he started writing something. It continued for a week when on the 7th day King Akbar himself asked Birbal the same question.

Giving him no answer, Birbal reported at the court the next day and handed over a note to King Akbar. Akbar read the note when he found that it was the big list of people who were blind.

Emperor Akbar was stunned when he found his own name in the list. Angered by this, Akbar asked Birbal the reason for writing his name in the list.

Birbal said “O! My majesty! Like all other people you also saw me mending the slippers but you still asked me what I was doing. Therefore I had to include your name too.”

Akbar started laughing at this and everyone enjoyed Birbal’s sense of humor.