60. Tit Bits

Tit Bits? Akbar’s court was famous for the witty question answer sessions On one such occasion – Akbar asked his courtiers whether they could tell the difference between the truth and the false within three words. All courtiers got busy in finding out the three words or less to tell the difference between the truth and the false. But enough time passed and they could not tell. “What about you, Birbal?” “His Majesty!” Birbal looked around and replied, “Four fingers” The King got surprised and asked him, “How, Birbal?” “Yes, Your Majesty, this is the difference between truth and false. Because what your eyes see is truth, and what your ears hear, more often than not, may be false.” “That is right, but then why do you say “four fingers”?” Akbar said. Birbal bowed a little and said, “Because Your Majesty, only four fingers is the distance between ear and eyes.” Akbar was very astonished to hear this reply. On another occasion – Akbar drew a line on the floor and asked his courtiers to shorten it without touching it. No courtier could do it. The Birbal came forward and drew another longer line beside it. Now the King’s line was shorter than Birbal’s line. On another occasion – Akbar asked what is that thing which sun and moon cannot see but others can see. As usual his courtiers could not get a even a clue. Then Birbal said, “Darkness, Huzoor.”
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