Once upon a time, King Akbar and Birbal were talking about love. Akbar said that if a man truly loves his wife, he would know everything about her
King Akbar asked Birbal, “What is the colour of the bangles that your wife wears?”
Birbal said, “My King, it is gold encrusted with tiny rubies”
King Akbar said, “But can you tell me how many bangles she wears?”
Birbal thought for a moment and said, “My King. I do not know how many bangles she wears. I have not noticed it.”
King Akbar was amused and said, “If you truly loved your wife, you would know this.”
Birbal said, “My King, I do know what are all the important things about her life. The trivial ones miss my eye. But I still love her.”
King Akbar said, “She serves you food everyday with her lands. Yet you cannot tell me how many bangles she wears. Birbal, I expected better from you. When I am married as long as you are, I would know everything there is about my wife.”
Afterwards, King Akbar wanted to take a walk. He went with Birbal down the grand stairs to reach the garden. As soon as they reached the bottom of the stairs, Birbal had a big smile on his face.
Birbal said, “My dear King, when did you move into this palace?”
Akbar said, “I was born and raised here. Why are you asking me this?”
Birbal said, “My dear King, you must have gone down the stairs every day since when you were a child. Can you tell me how many stairs are there?”
King Akbar understood why Birbal was asking this question and became red faced with embarrassment.