A must read story…..
Vivek Pradhan was not a happy man. Even the plush comfort of the
air-conditioned compartment of the Shatabdi express could not cool his
frayed nerves. He was the Project Manager and still not entitled to air
travel. It was not the prestige he sought, he had tried to reason with the
admin person, it was the savings in time. As PM, he had so many things to
He opened his case and took out the laptop, determined to put the time to
some good use.
“Are you from the software industry sir,” the man beside him was staring
appreciatively at the laptop.
Vivek glanced briefly and mumbled in affirmation, handling the laptop now
with exaggerated care and importance as if it were an expensive car.
“You people have brought so much advancement to the country, Sir. Today
everything is getting computerized.”
“Thanks,” smiled Vivek, turning around to give the man a look.
He always found it difficult to resist appreciation. The man was young and
well built like a sportsman. He looked simple and strangely out of
place in that little lap of luxury like a small town boy in a prep school.
He probably was a railway sportsman making the most of his free traveling
“You people always amaze me,” the man continued, “You sit in an office and
write something on a computer and it does so many big things outside.”
Vivek smiled deprecatingly. Naiveness demanded reasoning not anger. “It is
not as simple as that my friend. It is not just a question of writing a few
lines. There is a lot of process that goes behind it.”
For a moment, he was tempted to explain the entire Software Development
Lifecycle but restrained himself to a single statement. “It is complex,
“It has to be. No wonder you people are so highly paid,” came the reply.
This was not turning out as Vivek had thought. A hint of belligerence crept
into his so far affable, persuasive tone. ” Everyone just sees the money.
No one sees the amount of hard work we have to put in. Indians have such a
narrow concept of hard work. Just because we sit in an air-conditioned
office, does not mean our brows do not sweat. You exercise the muscle; we
exercise the mind and believe me that is no less taxing.” He could see, he
had the man where he wanted, and it was time to drive home the point.
“Let me give you an example. Take this train. The entire railway
reservation system is computerized. You can book a train ticket between any
two stations from any of the hundreds of computerized booking centres
across the country. Thousands of transactions accessing a single database,
at a time concurrently; data integrity, locking, data security. Do you
understand the complexity in designing and coding such a system?”
The man was awestuck; quite like a child at a planetarium.
This was something big and beyond his imagination. “You design and code
“I used to,” Vivek paused for effect, “but now I am the Project Manager.”
“Oh!” sighed the man, as if the storm had passed over, “so your life is
This was like the last straw for Vivek. He retorted, “Oh come on, does life
ever get easy as you go up the ladder. Responsibility only brings more
work. Design and coding! That is the easier part. Now I do not do it, but I
am responsible for it and believe me, that is far more stressful. My job is
to get the work done in time and with the highest quality. To tell you
about the pressures, there is the customer at one end, always changing his
requirements, the user at the other, wanting something else, and your boss,
always expecting you to have finished it yesterday.”
Vivek paused in his diatribe, his belligerence fading with
self-realisation. What he had said, was not merely the outburst of a
wronged man, it was the truth. And one need not get angry while defending
the truth. “My friend,” he concluded triumphantly, “you don’t know what it
is to be in the Line of Fire”.
The man sat back in his chair, his eyes closed as if in realization. When
he spoke after sometime, it was with a calm certainty that surprised Vivek.
“I know sir, I know what it is to be in the Line of Fire.” He was staring
blankly, as if no passenger, no train existed, just a vast expanse of time.
“There were 30 of us when we were ordered to capture Point 4875 in the
cover of the night. The enemy was firing from the top. There was no knowing
where the next bullet was going to come from and for whom. In the morning
when we finally hoisted the tricolour at the top only 4 of us were alive.”
“You are a…?”
“I am Subedar Sushant from the 13 J&K Rifles on duty at Peak 4875 in
Kargil. They tell me I have completed my term and can opt for a soft
assignment. But, tell me sir, can one give up duty just because it makes
life easier. On the dawn of that capture, one of my colleagues lay injured
in the snow, open to enemy fire while we were hiding behind a bunker. It
was my job to go and fetch that soldier to safety. But my captain sahib
refused me permission and went ahead himself. He said that the first pledge
he had taken as a Gentleman Cadet was to put the safety and welfare of the
nation foremost followed by the safety and welfare of the men he
commanded…….his own personal safety came last, always and every time.”
“He was killed as he shielded and brought that injured soldier into the
bunker. Every morning thereafter, as we stood guard, I could see him taking
all those bullets, which were actually meant for me. I know sir….I know,
what it is to be in the Line of Fire.”
Vivek looked at him in disbelief not sure of how to respond. Abruptly, he
switched off the laptop. It seemed trivial, even insulting to edit a Word
document in the presence of a man for whom valour and duty was a daily part
of life; valour and sense of duty which he had so far attributed only to
The train slowed down as it pulled into the station, and Subedar Sushant
picked up his bags to alight.
“It was nice meeting you sir.”
Vivek fumbled with the handshake. This hand… had climbed mountains,
pressed the trigger, and hoisted the tricolour. Suddenly, as if by impulse,
he stood up at attention and his right hand went up in an impromptu salute.
It was the least he felt he could do for the country.
PS: The incident he narrated during the capture of Peak 4875 is a true-life
incident during the Kargil war. Capt. Batra sacrificed his life while
trying to save one of the men he commanded, as victory was within sight.
For this and various other acts of bravery, he was awarded the Param Vir
Chakra, the nation’s highest military award.
Live humbly, there are great people around us, let us learn!
Indian Brain . . .
This is not a story but a true incident that happened in USA.*
An Indian man walked into a bank in New York City one day and asked for
the loan officer.
He told the loan officer that he was going to India on business for two
weeks and needed to borrow $5,000.
The bank officer told him that the bank would need some form of
security for the loan. The Indian man handed
over the keys to a new Ferrari parked on the street in front of the
bank. He produced the title and everything
The loan officer agreed to accept the car as collateral for the loan.
The bank’s president and its officers all enjoyed a good laugh at the
Indian for using a $250,000 Ferrari as
collateral against a $5,000 loan.
An employee of the bank then drove the Ferrari into the bank’s
underground garage and parked it there.
Two weeks later, the Indian returned, repaid the $5,000 and the
interest, which came to $15.41.
The loan officer said, “Sir, we are very happy to have had your
business, and this transaction has worked out very
nicely, but we are a little puzzled. While you were away, we checked
you out and found that you are a multi
millionaire. What puzzles us is, why would you bother to borrow
The Indian replied: “Where else in New York City can I park my car for
two weeks for only $15.41 and expect it to be there when I return'”
Ah, the brain of the Indian… This is why India is shining . . . _______________________________________________________________
!!An Interesting Conversation — Must Read
An atheist professor of philosophy speaks to his class on the problem science has with God, The Almighty. He asks one of his new students to stand and…..
Prof: So you believe in God?
Student: Absolutely, sir.
Prof: Is God good?
Prof: Is God all-powerful?
Prof: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to God to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But God didn’t. How is this God good then? Hmm?
Student is silent.
Prof: You can’t answer, can you?
Let’s start again, young fellow. Is God good?
Prof: Is Satan good?
Prof: Where does Satan come from?
Prof: That’s right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?
Prof: Evil is everywhere, isn’t it? And God did make everything. Correct?
Student does not answer.
Prof: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don’t they?
Student: Yes, sir.
Prof: So, who created them?
Student has no answer.
Prof: Science says you have 5 senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son…Have you ever seen God?
Student: No, sir.
Prof: Tell us if you have ever heard your God?
Student: No, sir.
Prof: Have you ever felt your God, tasted your God, smelt your God? Have you ever had any sensory perception of God for that matter?
Student: No, sir. I’m afraid I haven’t.
Prof: Yet you still believe in Him?
Prof: According to empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your GOD doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?
Student: Nothing. I only have my faith.
Prof: Yes Faith. And that is the problem science has.
Now the student said can I ask something to you Professor.
Student: Professor, is there such a thing as heat?
Student : And is there such a thing as cold?
Student: No sir. There isn’t.
(The lecture theatre becomes very quiet with this turn of events.)
Student: Sir, you can have lots of hea t, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don’t have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.
(There is pin-drop silence in the lecture theatre.)
Student: What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?
Prof: Yes. What is night if there isn’t darkness?
Student: You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something.
You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light… But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and its called darkness, isn’t it? In reality, darkness isn’t. If it were you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?
Prof: So what is the point you are making, young man?
St udent: Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.
Prof: Flawed? Can you explain how?
Student: Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Deat h is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?
Prof: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.
Student: Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?
(The Professor shakes his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument is going.)
Student: Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher?
(The class is in uproar.)
Student: Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor’s brain?
(The cla ss breaks out into laughter.)
Student: Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor’s brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?
(The room is silent. The professor stares at the student, his face unfathomable.)
Prof: I guess you’ll have to take them on faith, son.
Student: That is it sir… The link between man & god is FAITH. That is all that keeps things moving & alive. .
WANT TO KNOW WHO THAT STUDENT WAS?
This is a true story, and the student was none other than
DR. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam ,
President of India.
On a cold winter day Akbar and Birbal took a walk along the lake. A thought came to Birbal that a man would do anything for money. He expressed his feelings to Akbar. Akbar then put his finger into the lake and immediately removed it because he shivered with cold.
Akbar said “I don’t think a man would spend an entire night in the cold water of this lake for money.”
Birbal replied “I am sure I can find such a person.”
Akbar then challenged Birbal into finding such a person and said that he would reward the person with a thousand gold coins.
Birbal searched far and wide until he found a poor man who was desperate enough to accept the challenge. The poor man entered the lake and Akbar had guards posted near him to make sure that he really did as promised.
The next morning the guards took the poor man to Akbar. Akbar asked the poor man if he had indeed spent the night in the lake. The poor man replied that he had. Akbar then asked the poor man how he managed to spend the night in the lake. The poor man replied that there was a street lamp near by and he kept his attention affixed on the lamp and away from the cold. Akbar then said that there would be no reward as the poor man had survived the night in the lake by the warmth of the street lamp. The poor man went to Birbal for help.
The next day, Birbal did not go to court. The king wondering where he was sent a messenger to his home. The messenger came back saying that Birbal would come once his Khichri was cooked. The king waited hours but Birbal did not come. Finally the king decided to go to Birbal’s house and see what he was upto.
He found Birbal sitting on the floor near some burning twigs and a bowl filled with Khichri hanging five feet above the fire. The king and his attendants couldn’t help but laugh.
Akbar then said to Birbal “How can the Khichri be cooked if it so far away from the fire?”
Birbal answered “The same way the poor man received heat from a street lamp that was more than a furlong away.”
The King understood his mistake and gave the poor man his reward.
In the town of Agra there lived a rich businessman. But he was also quite a miser. Various people used to flock outside his house everyday hoping for some kind of generosity, but they always had to return home disappointed. He used to ward them off with false promises and then never live up to his word.
Then one day, a poet named Raidas arrived at his house and said that he wanted to read out his poems to the rich man. As the rich man was very fond of poetry, he welcomed him in with open arms.
Raidas started to recite all his poems one by one. The rich man was very pleased and especially so when he heard the poem that Raidas had written on him, because he had been compared with ‘Kubera’, the god of wealth. In those days it was a custom for rich men and kings to show their appreciation through a reward or a gift, as that was the only means of earning that a poor poet possessed. So the rich man promised Raidas some gifts and asked him to come and collect them the next day. Raidas was pleased.
The next morning when he arrived at the house, the rich man pretended that he had never laid eyes on him before. When Raidas reminded him of his promise, he said that although Raidas was a good poet he understood very little of human nature. And that if rich businessman truly wanted to reward him, he would have done so the very same night. Raidas had been offered a reward not because he was really pleased or impressed, but to simply encourage him.
Raidas was extremely upset, but as there was nothing that he could do, he quietly left the house. On his way home he saw Birbal riding a horse. So he stopped him and asked for his help after narrating the whole incident. Birbal took him to his own house in order to come up with a plan. After giving it some thought he asked Raidas to go to a friend’s house with five gold coins and request the friend to plan a dinner on the coming full moon night, where the rich man would also be invited. Birbal then asked Raidas to relax and leave the rest to him.
Raidas had one trustworthy friend whose name was Mayadas. So he went up to him and told him the plan.. The next day, Mayadas went to the rich man’s house and invited him for dinner. The dinner has been planned for the coming full moon night. He said that he intended to serve his guests in vessels of gold, which the guests would get to take home after the meal. The rich man was thrilled to hear this and jumped at the offer.
After sunset on the full moon night, the rich man arrived at Mayadas’ house and was surprised to see no other guests there but Raidas. Anyhow, they welcomed him in and started a polite conversation. The rich man had come on an empty stomach and so was getting hungrier by the minute. Raidas and Mayadas were quite full as they had eaten just before the rich man’s arrival.
Finally at midnight the rich man could bear his hunger no longer and asked Mayadas to serve the food. Mayadas sounded extremely surprised when he asked him what food was he talking about. The rich man tried to remind him that he had been invited for dinner. At this point Raidas asked him for proof of the invitation. The rich man had no answer. Then Mayadas told him that he had just invited him to please him and had not really meant it. He then went on to say that even though they did not do anything good for other people they also would never try to hurt another human being. He asked the rich man not to feel bad.
At that point Birbal walked into the room and reminded the rich man of the same treatment that he had himself meted out to Raidas. The rich man realised his mistake and begged for forgiveness. He said that Raidas was a good poet and had not asked him for any reward. He himself had promised to give him some gifts and then cheated him out of them. To make up for his mistake he took out the necklace that he was wearing and gifted it to Raidas. Then they all sat down to eat a happy meal.
Raidas was all praise for Birbal and thanked him profusely. Emperor Akbar also invited him to his court and honoured him, all thanks to Birbal.
Birbal really was a wise man.
The Foolish Brahmin
Once upon a time a foolish brahmin came to visit Birbal with a strange request. He wanted to be addressed as ‘pandit’. Now, the term ‘pandit’ refers to a man of learning. But unfortunately this poor brahmin was uneducated. Birbal tried to explain the difference to him saying that it was not correct to call an uneducated man a pandit and because of this very reason it would be improper to call him so. But the silly brahmin had his heart set on this title.
So, as usual, Birbal had a brilliant idea. He said that as the brahmin was an uneducated man he should hurl abuses and stones at anyone who dared to address him by the very same title he wanted. Then Birbal called all his servants to himself and ordered them to call this lowly brahmin a pandit. The brahmin was very pleased. But the moment the servants started calling out to him as ‘pandit’ he pretended to be very angry and started to abuse them loudly. Then he picked up a few stones and hurled them in their direction. All as per clever Birbal’s advice.
All this shouting and screaming drew a crowd. When people realised that this brahmin was erupting every time anyone called him ‘pandit’, they all started to tease him. Over the next couple of days, he would constantly hear the refrain ‘pandit’ wherever he went. Very soon the whole town started referring to him as ‘pandit’ much to his delight.
The foolish brahmin never realised why people were calling him in this manner. And was extremely pleased with the result. He thanked Birbal from the very bottom of his foolish heart.
The Wicked Barber’s Plight
As we all know, Birbal was not only Emperor Akbar’s favourite minister but also a minister dearly loved by most of the commoners, because of his ready wit and wisdom. People used to come to him from far and wide for advise on personal matters too.
However, there was a group of ministers that were jealous of his growing popularity and disliked him intensely. They outwardly showered him with praise and compliments, but on the inside they began to hatch a plot to kill him.
One day they approached the king’s barber with a plan. As the barber was extremely close to the king, they asked him to help them get rid of Birbal permanently. And of course, they promised him a huge sum of money in return. The wicked barber readily agreed.
The next time the king required his services, the barber started a conversation about the emperor’s father who he also used to serve. He sang praises of his fine, silky-smooth hair. And then as an afterthought he asked the king that as he was enjoying such great prosperity, had he made an attempt to do anything for the welfare of his ancestors?
The king was furious at such impertinent stupidity and told the barber that it was not possible to do anything because they were already dead. The barber mentioned that he knew of a magician who could come of help. The magician could send a person up to heaven to enquire about his father’s welfare. But of course this person would have to be chosen carefully; he would have to be intelligent enough to follow the magicians instructions as well as make on-the-spot decisions. He must be wise, intelligent and responsible. The barber then suggested the best person for the job – the wisest of all ministers, Birbal.
The king was very excited about hearing from his dead father and asked the barber to go ahead and make the arrangements immediately. He asked him what was needed to be done. The barber explained that they would take Birbal in a procession to the burial grounds and light a pyre. The magician would then chant some ‘mantras’ as Birbal would ascend to the heavens through the smoke. The chantings would help protect Birbal from the fire.
The king happily informed Birbal of this plan. Birbal said that he thought it a brilliant idea and wanted to know the brain behind it. When learning that it was the barber’s idea, he agreed to go to heaven on condition that he be given a large some of money for the long journey as well as one month’s time to settle his family so that they had no trouble while he was gone. The king agreed to both conditions.
In the duration of this month, he got a few trustworthy men to build a tunnel from the funeral grounds to his house. And on the day of the ascension, after the pyre had been lit, Birbal escaped through the concealed door of the tunnel. He disappeared in to his house where he hid for a few months while his hair and beard grew long and unruly.
In the meantime his enemies were rejoicing as they thought that they had seen the last of Birbal.
Then one day after many, many months Birbal arrived at the palace with news of the king’s father. The king was extremely pleased to see him and ready with a barrage of questions. Birbal told the king that his father was in the best of spirits and had been provided with all the comforts except one.
The king wanted to know what was lacking because now he thought he had found a way to send things and people to heaven. Birbal answered that there were no barbers in heaven, which is why even he was forced to grow his own beard. He said that his father had asked for a good barber.
So the king decided to send his own barber to serve his father in heaven. He called both the barber and the magician to prepare to send him to heaven. The barber could say absolutely nothing in his own defence as he was caught in his own trap. And once the pyre was lit he died on the spot.
Nobody dared to conspire against Birbal again.
The Cock And The Hen
Since Birbal always outwitted Akbar, Akbar thought of a plan to make Birbal look like a fool. He gave one egg to each of his ministers before Birbal reached the court one morning.
So when Birbal arrived, the king narrated a dream he had had the previous night saying that he would be able to judge the honesty of his ministers if they were able to bring back an egg from the royal garden pond.
So, Akbar asked all his courtiers to go to the pond, one at a time and return with an egg. So, one by one, all his ministers went to the pond and returned with the egg which he had previously given them.
Then it was Birbal’s turn. He jumped into the pond and could find no eggs. He finally realized that the King was trying to play a trick on him. So he entered the court crowing like a cock.
The Emperor asked him to stop making that irritating noise and then asked him for the egg.
Birbal smiled and replied that only hens lay eggs, and as he was a cock, he could not produce an egg.
Everyone laughed loudly and the King realized that Birbal could never be easily fooled
Emperor Akbar’s court was famous for its witty question and answer sessions.
On one of these occasions, the Emperor asked Birbal if there was anything that the sun and the moon could not see. Birbal’s reply was ‘darkness’. Akbar was pleased.
Next, he asked what was the difference between a truth and a lie. To which Birbal replied that it was the distance between the ears and the eyes because what you see with your eyes is true, but what you hear with your ears is generally false. Akbar was satisfied.
Lastly, Emperor Akbar drew a line on the floor and asked Birbal to shorten it without wiping out the ends.
Birbal drew a longer line below the line drawn by Akbar and remarked that though he had not rubbed off the original line he had definitely succeeded in making it shorter.
One night, Emperor Akbar dreamt that he had lost all his teeth, except one. The next morning he invited all the astrologers of his kingdom to interpret this dream.
After a long discussion, the astrologers prophesized that all his relatives would die before him.
Akbar was very upset by this interpretation and so sent away all the astrologers without any reward.
Later that day, Birbal entered the court. Akbar related his dream and asked him to interpret it. After thinking for a while Birbal replied that the Emperor would live a longer & more fulfilled life than any of his relatives.
Akbar was pleased with Birbal’s explanation and rewarded him handsomely.
One fine day, Emperor Akbar was discussing the brinjal with Birbal. He told him what a delicious and nutritious vegetable it was. Much to Akbar’s surprise, Birbal thoroughly agreed with him and even sang two songs in praise of the humble brinjal.
After a couple of days, the royal chef cooked brinjal curry for lunch. Birbal was also eating at the palace that day. When the brinjal curry was served to Akbar, he refused it saying that it was a tasteless, stale vegetable, full of seeds and lacking proper nutrition. He then asked that it be served to Birbal who loved brinjals.
But Birbal, too, refused it saying that it was not good for health. So Akbar impatiently asked him why he was saying such things when he sang the brinjals praise, not a few days ago.
Birbal replied that he had praised the brinjal only because his emperor had praised it and criticized it when his majesty had criticized it, as he was loyal to his emperor and to not the brinjal. He said that the brinjal could not make him a minister no matter how much he praised it. He went on to say that he was his majesty’s obedient servant, and not that of the brinjal.
The emperor was pleased by his honest, bold, and witty response.
Who Are Donkeys?
One fine day, Akbar, accompanied by his two sons and his clever Minister Birbal, went to the river to take a bath.
They asked Birbal to hold their clothes while they were bathing and took off their clothes and stepped into the river.
Birbal stood at the bank of the river, waiting for them, with their clothes on his shoulder. Looking at Birbal standing like this, Akbar felt like teasing him and remarked that Birbal looked like a washerman’s donkey with a load of clothes.
Birbal quickly retorted that he was carrying the load of not just one donkey, but actually three.
The emperor was speechless.
One day, when Akbar and Birbal were in discussions, Birbal happened to pass a harmless comment about Akbar’s sense of humour. But Emperor Akbar was in a foul mood and took great offense to this remark. He asked Birbal, his court-jester, friend and confidant, to not only leave the palace but also to leave the walls of the city of Agra. Birbal was terribly hurt at being banished.
A couple of days later, Akbar began to miss his best friend. He regretted his earlier decision of banishing him from the courts. He just could not do without Birbal and so sent out a search party to look for him. But Birbal had left town without letting anybody know of his destination. The soldiers searched high and low but were unable to find him anywhere.
Then one day a wise saint came to visit the palace accompanied by two of his disciples. The disciples claimed that their teacher was the wisest man to walk the earth. Since Akbar was missing Birbal terribly he thought it would be a good idea to have a wise man that could keep him company. But he decided that he would first test the holy man’s wisdom.
The saint had bright sparkling eyes, a thick beard and long hair. The next day, when they came to visit the court Akbar informed the holy man that since he was the wisest man on earth, he would like to test him. All his ministers would put forward a question and if his answers were satisfactory he would be made a minister. But if he could not, then he would be beheaded. The saint answered that he had never claimed to be the wisest man on earth, even though other people seemed to think so. Nor was he eager to display his cleverness but as he enjoyed answering questions, he was ready for the test.
One of the ministers, Raja Todarmal, began the round of questioning. He asked “Who is a man’s best friend on earth?” To which the wise saint replied, “His own good sense”. Next Faizi asked which was the most superior thing on earth? “Knowledge”, answered the saint. “Which is the deepest trench in the world?”, asked Abdul Fazal. And the saint’s answer was “a woman’s heart”. “What is that which cannot be regained after it is lost?” questioned another courtier and the reply he received was ‘life’. “What is undying in music” asked the court musician Tansen. The wise saint replied that it was the “notes”. And then he asked “which is the sweetest and most melodious voice at night -time? And the answer he received was “the voice that prays to God.”
Maharaj Mansingh of Jaipur, who was a guest at the palace asked, “what travels more speedily than the wind?” the saint replied that it was “man’s thought”. He then asked, “which was the sweetest thing on earth?” and the saint said that it was “a baby’s smile”.
Emperor Akbar and all his courtiers were very impressed with his answers, but wanted to test the saint himself. Firstly he asked what were the necessary requirements to rule over a kingdom, for which he was answered ‘cleverness’. Then he asked what was the gravest enemy of a king. The saint replied that it was ‘selfishness’. The emperor was pleased and offered the saint a seat of honour and asked him whether he could perform any miracles. The saint said that he could manifest any person the king wished to meet. Akbar was thrilled and immediately asked to meet his minister and best friend Birbal.
The saint simply pulled off his artificial beard and hair much to the surprise of the other courtiers. Akbar was stunned and could not believe his eyes. He stepped down to embrace the saint because he was none other than Birbal.
Akbar had tears in his eyes as he told Birbal that he had suspected it to be him and had therefore asked him whether he could perform miracles. He showered Birbal with many valuable gifts to show him how happy he was at his return.
Why is the Camel’s Neck Crooked?
As you all know, Emperor Akbar was very impressed with Birbal�s wisdom and greatly enjoyed his quick wit. One fine morning when Akbar was especially pleased with Birbal, as a gesture of appreciation, he promised to reward him with many valuable and beautiful gifts.
However, many days passed, and still there was no sign of even one gift. Birbal was quite disappointed with the king. Then one day, when Akbar was strolling down the banks of River Yamuna with his ever faithful Birbal at his side, he happened to notice a camel passing by. He asked Birbal why the neck of the camel was crooked. Birbal thought for a second and promptly replied that it might be because the camel may have forgotten to honour a promise. The holy books mention that those who break their word get punished with a crooked neck; perhaps that was the reason for the camel�s crooked neck.
Akbar soon realised his folly of making a promise to Birbal for gifts and not honouring it. He was ashamed of himself. As soon as they returned to the palace he immediately gave Birbal his justly deserved reward. As you can see, Birbal always managed to get what he wanted without directly asking for it.
The Three Questions
King Akbar was very fond of Birbal. This made a certain courtier very jealous. Now this courtier always wanted to be chief minister, but this was not possible as Birbal filled that position.
One day Akbar praised Birbal in front of the courtier. This made the courtier very angry and he said that the king praised Birbal unjustly and if Birbal could answer three of his questions, he would accept the fact that Birbal was intelligent. Akbar always wanting to test Birbals wit readily agreed.
The three questions were
1. How many stars are there in the sky
2. Where is the centre of the Earth and
3. How many men and how many women are there in the world.
Immediately Akbar asked Birbal the three questions and informed him that if he could not answer them, he would have to resign as chief minister.
To answer the first question, Birbal brought a hairy sheep and said �There are as many stars in the sky as there is hair on the sheep�s body. My friend the courtier is welcome to count them if he likes.�
To answer the second question, Birbal drew a couple of lines on the floor and bore an iron rod in it and said �this is the centre of the Earth, the courtier may measure it himself if he has any doubts.�
In answer to the third question, Birbal said �Counting the exact number of men and women in the world would be a problem as there are some specimens like our courtier friend here who cannot easily be classified as either. Therefore if all people like him are killed, then and only then can one count the exact number.�
One day a Brahmin by the name of Sevaram asked Birbal for help. He said that his forefathers were great Sanskrit scholars and that people used to respectfully refer to them as Panditji. He said that he had no money nor need for wealth, he was content living a simple life. But he had just one wish. He wished people would refer to him as Panditji too. He asked Birbal how he could achieve this.
Birbal said that the task was fairly simple. If the Brahmin followed his advice word for word, this task could be achieved. Birbal advised the Brahmin to shout at anyone who would call him Panditji from now on.
Now the children who lived on the same street as the Brahmin did not like him since he scolded them often. They were just waiting for an opportunity to get back at him. Birbal told the children that the Brahmin would get really irritated if they would start calling him Panditji. The children started calling him Panditji and the Brahmin as advised by Birbal started shouting at them. The children spread the word to all the other children in the neighborhood that Sevaram hated being called Panditji, so they in turn all started calling him Panditji. After a while, Sevaram got tired of scolding them but everyone already was used to calling him Panditji. Hence the game was over but the name stuck.
One day a fisherman was lying on a beautiful beach with his fishing pole propped up in the sand and his solitary line cast out into the sparkling blue surf.
He was enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun and the prospect of catching a fish.
About that time, a businessman came walking down the beach trying to relieve some of the stress of his workday. He noticed the fisherman sitting on the beach and decided to find out why this fisherman was fishing instead of working harder to make a living for himself and his family.
“You aren’t going to catch many fish that way,” said the businessman to the fisherman, “you should be working rather than lying on the beach!”
The fisherman looked up at the businessman, smiled and replied, “And what will my reward be?”
“Well, you can get bigger nets and catch more fish!” was the businessman’s answer.
“And then what will my reward be?” asked the fisherman, still smiling.
The businessman replied, “You will make money and you’ll be able to buy a boat which will then result in larger catches of fish!”
“And then what will my reward be?” asked the fisherman again.
The businessman was beginning to get a little irritated with the fisherman’s questions.
“You can buy a bigger boat and hire some people to work for you!” he said.
“And then what will my reward be?” repeated the fisherman.
The businessman was getting angry. “Don’t you understand? You can build up a fleet of fishing boats, sail all over the world, and let all your employees catch fish for you!”
Once again the fisherman asked, “And then what will my reward be?”
The businessman was red with rage and shouted at the fisherman, “Don’t you understand that you can become so rich that you will never have to work for your living again! You can spend all the rest of your days sitting on this beach looking at the sunset. You won’t have a care in the world!”
The fisherman, still smiling, simply looked up, nodded and said: “And what do you think I am doing now?” He then looked at the sunset, with his pole in the water, without a care in the world.
However, both the fisherman and the businessman were wrong in their materialistic outlook. We don’t have to work hard so that we become rich, sit in the beach and have no care in the world. Islam teaches us to work hard to serve our family and our community and earn the pleasure of Allah (swt), regardless of whether we are poor or rich.
The Banyan Deer
In a forest, on the outskirts of Benaras, there lived a beautiful golden deer. He was called King Banyan Deer and was the leader of a herd of five hundred deer. Not very far off, in the same forest was King Branch Deer who was also the leader amongst another five hundred deer. He was also extremely beautiful with a coat of a shiny golden hue and sparkling eyes.
Outside this beautiful forest, in the real world, there reigned a King who loved to eat meat at every single meal. He was King Brahmadatta of Benaras. Not only was he fond of hunting, but he also enforced the same on his subjects. He forced them to leave their own businesses and join him regularly on his hunting spree each and every morning.
After awhile the villagers got sick of this regular routine as they had much better things to do with their lives. Besides, their work and means of livelihood had also begun to suffer. They realised that they must find a solution. Together they came up with a plan.
They decided to grow plants, sow crops and dig water holes in the royal park itself. Then they would drive a number of deer into the confines of the park and shut the gates. In this way the King could hunt at leisure and would not require any further help from his obedient subjects.
So at first they went about preparing the royal park for the deer. Then they went into the forest armed with weapons and sticks in order to drive the deer into the royal park. They surrounded the territories of both the herds, those of King Banyan Deer as well as King Branch Deer, and drove them into the royal park, with shouts of glee as they beat their sticks on the ground and waved them in the air. As soon as both the herds were in, the gates were shut and the deer entrapped.
They then went to their King and told him that as they could not accompany him any more on his hunts they had successfully managed to entrap a number of deer in the royal park for his royal pleasure. The King was absolutely thrilled when he set eyes on the great number of deer in the royal park.
While gazing at them his eyes fell on the two beautiful golden deer and he at once decided to spare their lives. He issued an order that they were not to be shot at any cost. Each day after that, either the King or one of his hunters would shoot arrows at the deer. The deer would scatter wildly in every direction and get hurt in the ensuing stampede. So one day King Banyan Deer and King Branch Deer put their heads together and came up with a plan. They realised that each day their herds were getting wounded in great numbers and some were getting killed. Even though death was inevitable they could at least try to save the living ones from unnecessary pain and torture.
So they decided to send a deer to the royal palace to be slaughtered and served to the king each and every day. The pact was to alternate between the two herds. In this way at least the rest of the deer would be spared unnecessary torture. This system continued for some time. Each day a deer was sent to the royal palace to be slaughtered by the royal cook. And the rest of the deer were allowed to live in peace until it was their turn.
One day it was the turn of a young female deer with a newborn baby. She belonged to the herd of King Branch Deer. She was worried that after she was killed there would be no one to take care of her child who was still too young to look after itself. So she approached her king with the plea that he send another deer instead of her that day and she would willingly go to the slaughter after her fawn was old enough to look after himself.
But King Branch Deer would not listen to her plea and told her to accept this as her fate as he could not ask another deer to replace her on the execution block. The mother doe looked at her baby and just could not take a step towards the palace. So she approached King Banyan Deer with her plea. King Banyan Deer looked at her with great compassion and told her to go look after her baby, as he would send another in her place.
Then King Banyan Deer himself walked to the palace and placed his head on the execution block. The royal cook was shocked to see him and remembering the King’s orders, went running to the King to ask him what was to be done. The King came down to see what was happening. On seeing King Banyan Deer he went up to him and gently asked why he was here. King Banyan Deer related the story of the fawn and the mother doe and told him that as he could not order another to take her place, he had decided to do it himself. The King was highly impressed with this supreme sacrifice and the great love and compassion that this King of deer possessed. So he decided to not only spare his life but that of the mother doe as well.
But King Banyan Deer was not satisfied. He asked that the lives of the other deer be spared as well. So the king granted him his wish. Then he asked about all the other four-footed animals in the forest and then about the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea. And King Brahmadutta agreed to spare the lives of all.
King Banyan Deer thanked him from the bottom of his heart and returned joyfully to the park. The gates were opened wide and both the herds were set free. Needless to say they lived peacefully and happily ever after.This is really touchin…..
Sanjay, a rich guy, loved fast cars and he did have a few in his
He loved to speed and could not be bothered about breaking speed
limits. Many a times he was
caught by the cops and speed radars, fined, but still he never
One day as he was driving at a very high speed as usual, he saw
a cop following him. The cop overtook him finally and asked him to stop
checked his license. He then took out his pad and started
Writing, and then handed over the sheet of paper to Sanjay.
How much was this one going to cost?!!!
Wait a minute.
What was this????
Some kind of joke? Certainly not a ticket.
Sanjay began to read:
Once upon a time I had a lovely daughter. She was six when
killed by a car.
You guessed it – a speeding driver’s car.
A fine and three months in jail, and the man was free. Free to
hug his three daughters.
I only had one, and I’m going to have to wait until Heaven,
before I can ever hug her again.
A thousand times I’ve tried to forgive that man. A thousand
times I thought I had. Maybe I did, but I need to do it
again. Even now. Pray for me.. And be careful, Sanjay, my son is
all I have left.”
Sanjay turned around in time to see the cop’s car pull away and
head down the road.
He watched until it disappeared. A full 15 minutes later, he
too, pulled away and drove slowly home, praying for forgiveness and
hugging a surprised
wife and kids when he arrived.
Life is precious. Handle it with care.
A story told by an IIM professor regarding the side effects of systematic
After completion of Lanka War Hanumanji was enjoying LTA with his friends ,
he got an email on his laptop from Accounts requesting him to clear his
dues before 31st March related with his tour to bring Sanjivani Booti for
Laxmanji. He ignored the first mail.But after 3 – 4 reminders in two days
time & receiving a call on CUG Mobile from Accounts Dept., he flew to
Ayodhya canceling his leave.
He submitted :-
TA, DA Bill ,
Bills of Sushen Vaidya ,
Hospital Charges for getting injured by Bharatji during his travel at
Cost of Sanjeevani Booti
(1) Where is your tour sanction report ? Asked the Administration Dept.
Hanumanji got it done by requesting to concerned officials 2 or 3 times.
(2) Hanumanji claimed T.A. bill for air travel but he was given only second
class sleeper charges & all other expenses on medical , Sanjeevani Booti ,
Fee of Sushen Vaidya were not reimbursed.
When he asked for the reasons,
(a) he was told that he is entitled for IInd class sleeper only.
(b) He can not get claim for other things as he does not have bills.
When Ramji ordered the related official to pay for Air travel & other
charges as claimed by Hanumanji. The officer came with the rule book & said
to Ramji ” These rules are created by the grand father of Dasharathji, If
you want to overrule your forefathers I don’t have any problem.” Ramji
became speechless. Then he thought for another way. He called Hanumanji &
gave him the claimed amount in cash, But can Hanumanji take cash money from
Ramji ? Hanumanji told ” How can I take money from you ? Laxmanji is
equally reverend to me as you are. “
In his heart of hearts Hanumanji thought why he listened to accounts
fellow, cut short his LTA, completed all the formalities & put Shriram in
such an awkward position where he has to offer money to me.
Hanumanji continued his work with the same attachment as he used to after
this incidence also,
but those who didn’t have equal attachment with Shriram & his organization,
learnt a different lesson & that was
” Not to do anything without proper sanctions, bills, gate pass etc.
whatsoever may be the urgency or importance of the job “
( at the most Laxmanji will die, nothing more will happen ).
If a female is reading this article then just realize the value of a man; and if its a male then feel proud of after reading it!
“One day, while a woodcutter was cutting a branch of a tree above a river, his axe fell into the river. When he cried out, the Lord appeared and asked, “Why are you crying?”
The woodcutter replied that his axe has fallen into water, and he needed the axe to make his living.
The Lord again went down and came up with a silver Axe. “Is this your axe?” the Lord asked.
Again, the woodcutter replied, “No.”
The Lord went down into the water and reappeared with a golden axe. “Is this your axe?” the Lord asked.
The woodcutter replied, “No.”
The Lord went down again and came up with an iron Axe. “Is this your axe?” the Lord asked.
The woodcutter replied, “Yes.”
The Lord was pleased with the man’s honesty and gave him all three axes to keep, and the woodcutter went home happy.
Some time later the woodcutter was walking with his wife along the riverbank, and his wife fell into the river. When he cried out, the Lord again appeared and asked him, “Why are you crying?”
“Oh Lord, my wife has fallen into the water!”
The Lord went down into the water and came up with ANGELINA JOLIE “Is this your wife?” the Lord asked.
“Yes,” cried the woodcutter.
The Lord was furious. “You lied! That is an untruth!”
The woodcutter replied, “Oh, forgive me, my Lord. It is a misunderstanding. You see, if I had said ‘no’ to ANGELINA JOLIE , You would have come up with CAMERON DIAZ . Then if I said ‘no’ to her, you would have come up with my wife . Had I then said ‘yes,’ you would have given me all three. Lord, I am a poor man, and am not able to take care
of all three wives, so THAT’S why I said yes to ANGELINA JOLIE .
The moral of this story is: Whenever a man lies, it is for a good and honorable reason, and for the benefit of others.