Once Emperor Akbar wanted to give alms to all the blinds in the kingdom. To be sure that none of blinds were deprived of alms, he directed his men to prepare a list of blind people in his kingdom.
As per Emperor’s order, a comprehensive list of blind people was made and presented before King. Akbar handed over the list to Birbal and asked him to make adequate arrangements for distribution of alms.
Birbal glanced at list and said, “Your Majesty, I will do the needful but do you know that there are more blind people than one listed here. In fact, number of blinds is far greater than number of sighted people.”
Akbar said, “That’s ridiculous thing to say. If it is true, prove it to me.”
Birbal accepted the challenge.
Next day, Birbal took a frame of an old cot and carried it with him to main crossing and sat on road and started weaving it’s rope.
He had a servant stand there next to him with a paper and pen.
Soon, a courtier came and exclaimed, “Birbal, what are you doing?”
Birbal didn’t answer him but he just whispered something in ear of his servant and kept at his work.
A little later, some more people gathered on street and were surprised to see Birbal weaving a cot and asked same question – what are you doing?”
Each time someone asked this question, servant quickly jotted down something on the piece of paper.
News of Raja Birbal weaving cot on road, spread like wildfire in city. By evening, even Akbar came to know about this. He went to Birbal to see for himself.
He asked Birbal in surprised tone, “I don’t understand what you are trying to do?”
Servant again wrote down something on paper. After this Birbal stood up and greeted King.
He said, “Your Majesty, I was making list of blinds.”
Then he gave that list to Akbar. Akbar was astonished to see his name at end of list.
He asked Birbal, “Why have you included my name in your list of blinds?”
Birbal politely replied, “You majesty, It’s because you are also one of them. You were the last person to come and ask me what i was doing, even thought you could clearly see that i was weaving the cot.”
Akbar burst out laughing and said, “Yes Birbal, I do agree with you that the number of blinds in our kingdom is far more than the sighted people.
More Akbar Birbal Stories: Power of Words