“The tale is one of the tales from Akbar and Birbal. Akbar was a mogul emperor; one of the biggest and most well-known mogul emperors of India. Birbal was a Hindu who was the minister in Akbar’s court and he was very well known for his wisdom and for being very wise. Akbar was often impressed by that and the other court ministers were often jealous of him, so one day, Akbar came into the court and he gave a puzzle to all his ministers by drawing a line. He said to make this line shorter without erasing any of it, and Birbal came forth when none of the other ministers could answer the riddle, and he drew another line, which was longer than the one Akbar drew. He was like, ‘now this line is shorter.’”
This story was told by my roommate. She is from India and she shared how this might seem like a “kind of silly tale” that presents “just a trick or just a puzzle” but a lot of messages that are conveyed within the culture can be seen in this tale. This story is very well known in India and it kind of just celebrates the history of India and the wisdom that a lot of the ministers had. It overall shows how important being wise is in solving problems. She heard this tale when she used to go to elementary school in India. Her parents bought her this book of Akbar and Birbal tales and this was one of the tales in that book.
In Indian culture wisdom and problem-solving is strongly valued. This story emphasizes thinking outside of the box and coming up with solutions that might not be obvious. This story shows that it is a very common fairy tale told to young children. This tale was more popular than ones like Cinderella as the lessons within this tale better represent the values of India. This tale also connects to one of the most powerful empires in India. It also consists of one of the most powerful kings and one of the smartest people. This story also gives people a touch of emotions.