The Poet Raidas

Once upon a time in King Akbar’s kingdom there lived a rich and miserly minister. He used to make promises to every man and woman he met. However he would always cheat or trick them and never fulfil his promises.

One day he wanted a poet to come home and recite poems to his guests. The rich man was very fond of poetry and wanted to listen to poems. He called a famous poet named Raidas to his home. The poet came to meet the minister and his guests.

Raidas recited all his poems one after the other. Some were long, some were short. Some were musical, others were not. However, each poem was beautiful in its own way. They were thoughtful and deep.

The rich minister and his guests were very happy to listen to the poems of the great Raidas. He even made a poem about the rich man and had compared him to a God called Kubera who was the god of wealth.

The rich minister was so happy that he praised Raidas a lot. He promised Raidas that he would give him many gifts. He asked the poet to come home and collect them the next day. Raidas was very happy and went home.

The next morning, Raidas came to collect his gifts from the minister. The cunning minister looked at Raidas and asked who he was. He acted as if he had never seen Raidas before in his life.

Raidas reminded him of his promise about the gifts. The rich minister said that he had promised to reward him just to please him in front of the guests, not to give him anything in reality.

Raidas was very sad, but he could not do anything as the man was a minister. Raidas cried and left the house. He went to meet Birbal and asked him for justice. Birbal was a very clever man as well and thought of a great plan.

Birbal told Raidas what needed to be done. He asked Raidas to go ask one of his friends to plan a dinner and invite the rich man. His friend went to the minister’s house and invited him over for dinner.

The friend also told the minister that all the guests would be served in vessels of pure gold. The guests could take the gold vessels home after the meal. The miserly minister was very to hear the friend’s offer and agreed to come to his home.

The next day, the minister arrived. He was surprised that there were no other guests there except Raidas and Birbal. The man welcomed the rich man and they all started a long conversation. The minster started to get very hungry and the conversation was not coming to an end.

The minister had an empty stomach and was extremely hungry. Birbal, Raidas and his friend were very full as they had their dinner just before the minister came home.

Finally, the minister could not bear his hunger any longer. He asked for dinner. The host acted surprised when the minister asked him about dinner.

He said that he did not remember inviting anyone over for dinner. The minister tried to remind him. Birbal said with a smile on his face, “My friend, he has invited you to dinner just to make you happy. He did not mean to feed you dinner in reality. This is the same as the ill treatment that you gave to Raidas.”

The rich man realised his mistake and apologised to Raidas. He took out the necklace and ring that he was wearing and gifted it to Raidas. Raidas was very happy and thanked Birbal for his help.

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