The Gutter and the Payasam

Once upon a time, King Akbar and his favourite minister Birbal were having a long discussion. Akbar wanted to make fun of Birbal. Emperor Akbar started explaining one of his dreams.

Akbar said, “You and I were walking towards each other on a moonless night. We were in some other kingdom and not in the palace. It was very dark. It was so dark that we could not see each other at all. We collided and fell down.

Akbar said, “I was very lucky and fell into a pool of Payasam. But guess what you fell into?”

Birbal said, “What did I fall into, your Majesty?”

Akbar laughed loudly and said, “A gutter! You fell into an open gutter.”

The Subtle Art of 'Turning the Tables' as narrated by the Great Birbal!

Akbar and Birbal both laughed loudly at the King’s joke. The King was thrilled that he was able to make a joke on Birbal and Birbal was laughing as well. He thought the Birbal could not respond since it was a great joke and could not be replied to.

Birbal however was unperturbed. He was very clever and thought of a brilliant response.

Birbal said, “Your Majesty, it is a wonder but I too had the same dream a few days ago. In my dream I fell into the gutter and you fell into the Payasam. But that was not the end of the dream. I slept some more and the end was different.

Akbar said, “What was the end of the dream?”

Birbal said, “You climbed out of that pool of delicious Payasam and I climbed out of that gutter. We found that there was no water left in the world. We really needed to clean ourselves. Please guess what you ordered us to do?”

Akbar said warily, “What was my order Birbal?”

Birbal said, “We could not see each other so you ordered us to lick each other clean!”

The emperor became red with embarrassment but he laughed loudly. He decided not to try to get the better of Birbal again.

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