Fields of Pearls



Fields of Pearls :



One day King Akbar’s Queen was walking past when her hand accidentally knocked down a vase.

“Oh!” she exclaimed, “This was His Majesty’s favourite vase. I can’t tell him that it is broken.”

A little later, the King entered his chamber. He found something amiss and remembered that he could not see the vase. He asked the Queen, “Dear, where’s that vase which was gifted to me by a Chinese traveler?”

“Oh! Your majesty, the servant has taken it to wipe off the dust from it,” the Queen lied.

Later on when the King awakened in the morning and was feeling fresh and relaxed, the Queen confessed, “Your Majesty, I lied to you about the vase. I knocked it down accidentally and it broke into pieces.”

“But you said the servant had taken to clean it. You are King Akbar’s Queen. Yet you dared to lie before me. I forgive you for breaking the vase as it was an accident. But I will not forgive you for being a liar. I order you to leave the royal palace immediately.”

In spite of many pleas, the King did not relent. She went away to the palace just outside Agra. Soon everyone knew that the Queen had left the royal palace.

Next morning in the royal court the King asked, “Has anyone ever lied ?”

All the courtiers feared for their lives so all of them answered that they had always spoken the truth. Just then Birbal came to the court. He had been away from Agra and returned that morning. He was posed the same question.

Birbal replied, “I tried to be honest all the while but once in a while there are times one has to take help of small lies.”

“So you are telling me that you have been dishonest. But all the courtiers present here have not lied even once in their lives.”

Birbal knew all of them were lying.

Akbar became angry and said, “Birbal, I do not want lying minister in my court. I order you to leave Agra immediately.”

Soon this news reached the Queen’s palace or the outskirts of Agra. She asked her maid to fetch Birbal in her presence. When Birbal and the Queen met, she told him what had happened before. Birbal promised to help her. Birbal went to the best jeweler of the town. He showed him a corn of wheat and said, “I want you to take the best pearls and make such identical corns of pearls.”

Within a few days the corns of pearls were ready. Birbal went to King Akbar’s court. After taking permission to enter, he met the King and said, “Your Majesty, on the way out of the city, I met a traveller. He gave me these extra-ordinary corns of pearls. If we are to sow them, we can have fields of pearls.”

Akbar was amazed to see the corns of pearls. He said, “Is it truly possible ?”

“Well, at least we can try. I have found a piece of fertile land. Next week on full moon night we must sow these corns,” Birbal said.

The King agreed. Soon the news spread and a large crowd gathered at the site on the decided night.

“Now Birbal, start sowing the corn of pearls,” the King said.

“Oh! No your Majesty!! I can’t sow them as I have lied in my life. Only one, who has never sinned, who is pure and has never lied, can sow the corn. I can’t do this but surely any of your truthful courtiers can,” Birbal replied.

The courtiers were taken aback. They knew they were liars and may be the pearls would not sprout if they sowed them. Every one of them refused.

So, Birbal said, “Your Majesty, you are the only truthful person present here. You can sow the corns of pearls.”

“Birbal, I can’t sow them because I am sure I must have lied at many times as a kid. I am afraid we cannot find anyone who has never lied in his life.’

Then King Akbar realized the importance of what he had just said. He forgave Birbal and the Queen and ordered both of them to return to Agra.

Fields of Pearls



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Fields of Pearls