54. How many steps

Question for Question One day Akbar asked Birbal, “Birbal, can you tell me how many bangles are on your wife’s hand?” Birbal said, “No, Huzoor, I cannot.” “You cannot? Although everyday you see her hand, still you cannot tell how many bangles are on her hand? How is that?” said Akbar. Birbal said, “Let’s go to the garden, Your Majesty. And I will tell you “How is that”.” And they both went to the garden. They both went down a small staircase which led to the garden. After reaching in the garden Birbal asked, “You daily climb up and down this small staircase, could you tell how many steps it has?” Akbar smiled and then changed the subject.

A question of status – IFW – ifw-net.com

There is a certain irony connected to the potential acquisition of TNT by UPS. DHL may want challenge the status of TNT Airways as a European carrier, should the deal go ahead, mirroring the problems it faced when it tried to penetrate the US market in the early 2000s.

The possible acquisition of TNT by UPS has thrown up what could evolve into a highly ironic situation. TNT has a wholly owned airline, TNT Airways, which is based at its European hub in Liege and which exists to provide TNT Express with an air freight network connecting all its locations throughout the world.

However, a change of ownership could have serious implications for the airline. TNT Airways is incorporated in Belgium and qualifies as a Belgian and EU carrier. This brings a number of privileges that include the company’s use of Liege Airport, routings and reciprocal landing rights and trade arrangements.

As TNT itself sets out in its IPO prospectus published in 2011, changes in the company’s shareholder base such that the majority of the ordinary shares are held by non-EU shareholders may result in TNT Airways no longer being able to benefit from its privileges.

The airline may not be able to use certain airports, including its base at Liege. TNT admits that this could affect its revenues and profitability.

The situation calls to mind a very similar problem faced by DHL in the US. Due to airline ownership legislation, it was forced to sell a controlling stake in DHL Airways to a US corporation in 2003.

UPS and FedEx both challenged the ownership status, saying that as the majority of work undertaken by the airline was for its largest customer, DHL, it was, de facto, owned by a foreign enterprise. This argument was eventually thrown out by the US judicial system and the Department of Transportation.

Should the acquisition of TNT by UPS go ahead, TNT Airways may well be spun-off to conform with EU legislation. However, there may be a case that the same issue exists over “control” and “ownership”. If DHL’s management have long memories, they may well wish to test this issue in court.

53. Protecting footmark

Once king Akbar had a great quarrel with Birbal so he left the place and went some 30-40 miles away in a village. There he started living hiding his identity. Now Birbal’s position (Deevaan or Minister) could not be kept empty so the king appointed his brother-in-law (wife’ brother) in Birbal’s place. Although Akbar didn’t like this but he had to do this to please his wife. Very soon the city got undisciplined and complaints started coming to the king. This was the time to test his brother-in-law’s intelligence. So he went out to a Peer’s Mazaar (the tomb of a saint). While returning from there he saw a footmark of an elephant. He asked his brother-in-law to protect that mark for three days. Baadshaah (king) went to his palace and his brother-in-law starting vigilance around it. The first day passed, the new Deevaan could not get any food; the second day also passed without any food. The third day he got very weak, but somehow survived. The fourth day he went to the king and told everything to him. Baadshaah thought “I have to call Birbal back, I can’t do with this Deevaan.” So he found a way to get him back. He announced that there is some quarrel over a government well so all Zameendaar (owner) of nearby villages should come to him with their wells, otherwise they will have to pay fine of 10,000 Rupees (Indian currency). This order was heard in that village also min which Birbal lived. Its Zameendaar abused the king that “That this king has gone mad. Has anybody ever heard moving wells to other places? But if I did not go then I will have to pay 10,000 Rupees fine which is a lot of money.” When Birbal heard this, he knew that it was a trick to find Birbal. He thought that now is the time to reveal his identity and keep king’s words. So he explained something to the Zameendaar and next day the Zameendaar along with Birbal and some of his servants arrived in Delhi. They did not enter the city, they stayed outside the city and sent a messenger to king – “Huzoor, According to your orders we are here with our wells, now you sent your wells to welcome them.” When Akbar heard this, he understood that Birbal was there. He asked the Zameendaar – “Who told this to tell me? Tell me the truth.” The Zameendaar said – “Some time ago, a stranger came to stay in our village, he has asked us to tell you this.” When asked about his form, it matched Birbal’s. Then he sent his people to welcome Birbal and he was brought into the city with a great pomp and show. Birbal was again appointed on his old position. This time the king asked Birbal to protect that footmark of elephant. Birbal said “Done”. He fixed an iron bar near the footmark and tied a 50-yard rope to it and told the villagers that whoever’s house will fall inside the circumference of that rope his house will be demolished to protect that footmark.” People requested him not to do so and gave him Rupees as bribery not to demolish their house. Thus he collected approximately 100,000 (1 Lakh) Rupees. He deposited that money in the royal treasury and told the king that the work is done and 100,000 Rupees have been deposited in his treasury. The king called his brother-in-law and said to him – “You were hungry for three days and gained nothing while protecting the footmark, but see, Birbal has earned 100,00 Rupees in one day only. That is why you can never be my Deevaan.” The brother-in-law went away from there hanging his head down.

52. Pickled clue

Pickled Clue One day a man gave a jar to his neighbor to keep until he comes back from the pilgrimage. The jar had his life’s earnings. After keeping it safely, the man left for the pilgrimage. After six months when he returned from the pilgrimage, he went to his neighbor and asked for his jar. The neighbor brought the jar and gave it to the man. The man opened the jar and found the mango pickle, instead of his money. He said to the neighbor politely, “Sir I gave the money to you in this jar, now it contains pickle.” The neighbor said, “I don’t know anything about your money. Whatever you gave to me I kept it, and only now I am bringing it out to give it to you.” The man got very sad and went to Birbal for justice. Birbal asked the neighbor, “Where is the money which was kept in this jar.” The neighbor said, “I have already told that I do not know anything about the money kept in this jar. I didn’t open it before, and I didn’t open it now. I just took it and kept it as it was, and took it out as it was.” Then Birbal called some women from the Royal kitchen, and asked them, “How old this pickle is?” They said it is definitely not six months old. It is very new, maybe a month old only.” Now the neighbor got caught. He returned all the money he took out from the jar.