Promises Only To Please!


Kings are the earthly powers that bestow energy (favours) spontaneously on their favourite subjects. At the same time, they keep the subjects in animated suspense at times. None can predict when they rain showers, when they withdraw. Like the great gods, good lords may delay: nevertheless, they will never deny.

"A day's delay is a south-sea of discovery," says William Shakespeare. This was most true in the case of Birbal in receiving rewards from his master.

No doubt, emperor Akbar was ever impressed by Birbal's wit and wisdom. Many times he promised him for his quick-witted advice on administrative, moral, and political problems. Soon he forgot to fulfill his promises at the pressing of work. Unfortunately Birbal didn't.

One evening, as usual, the emperor and Birbal were on their stroll down the banks of river Yamuna. When Akbar noticed a camel passing by, he put a question to Birbal casually:

"Why is the neck of the camel crooked?"

Birbal thought for a moment, and said,

"The camel must have forgotten, Jahapana, to honour a promise. The holy books say that those who break their word will be punished with a crooked neck. Perhaps that is the reason for the camel's crooked neck."

The emperor was embarrassed at this answer. He thought for a while and realised his folly of making Birbal a promise, and failing to honour it.

As soon as "They returned to the court, Akbar fulfilled his forgotten promise.