Akbar and Birbal – Part Two

“Here’s a shorter story, but this one is just a display of intelligence. Akbar and Birbal are just walking along in the forest, and then, um…Akbar bends down and he sees a stick. He puts it on the ground and tells Birbal, ‘Make this shorter, without touching it.’ Now a normal person would be confused; if you can’t touch it or break it, how are you going to make it shorter, right? So Birbal bends down and draws a line next to the stick. Only he draws the line longer than the stick is. Comparatively, the line that Birbal drew in the dirt was longer than the stick, so because of perspective, the stick was now shorter and Birbal had won. And once again, Birbal was rewarded for his efforts.”

This was another Akbar and Birbal story told to me by my informant, but it is one that was much shorter. Again, told to her by her father, this story again focuses on outsmarting another. This time Birbal uses a very simple means to do so. A potential moral that I drew from the story was that “One need not over think to come up with an effective solution, but rather, use simple means to derive the best method of victory.”