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Story No 31

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31-Birbal Ki Khichadee

This story is vary famous among the folks of India, and it is so much famous that it has become an idiom "Birbal ki Khichadee". Let us read the story here what is the meaning of Birbal ki Khichadee.

Once Emperor Akbar announced in his kingdom that whoever will pass the one full night in this cold night standing in Yamunaa's water, he will be given a reward of 100 gold coins next day.

Now there was a very poor man who needed money very badly, so he decided to pass the one whole night standing in Yamunaa's chilly water to receive 100 gold coins from the Emperor. He stood there whole night in the hope to receive the reward. Some guards were there to watch him whether he really stood there or not; or he did not cheat.

Next day he came to the Royal court to take his reward. The Emperor Akbar asked his guards whether there was any means nearby to give him warmth. The guards told him that there was a lamp post which was burning the whole night at the distance of about 50 yards. The Emperor said - "Then this man is not worthy to be rewarded because he was getting warmth from that lamp post." The poor man went away from there. Birbal was also in the court. He did not like the Emperor's logic that the man getting warmth from a lamp post burning at the distance of 50 yards away. At that time he did not consider proper to oppose the Emperor but he had decided that he will answer him for this.

Next day Birbal did not go to the court. Akbar waited for him for some time then sent a messenger to ask what happened to Birbal and why he has not come to the court. The messenger came back and told the Emperor that Birbal had said - "I am cooking my Khichadee and as soon as my Khichadee will be cooked I will be there." The Emperor waited and waited, one hour, two hours, three hours; but there was not a sign of Birbal's coming.

This time the Emperor thought to go to Birbal's house and find out what was the matter. So he went. As Birbal saw the Emperor coming to his house, he came to welcome him and took him inside the house. The Emperor asked him - "Why did you not come to the court. All have been waiting for you." Birbal said - "Huzoor, I was cooking my Khichadee to eat, as soon as it will be cooked I will come to the court after eating it."

The Emperor asked - "It is long time when you sent this message. Is it not cooked yet? Where is that?" Birbal showed him it in his courtyard. The Emperor saw that a pot was hanging from a very high branch of the tree and a very low fire was burning on the ground. There was no way that Birbal's Khichadee got cooked even in his life time.

The Emperor laughed seeing this way of cooking Khichadee. He said - "Birbal, You are kidding. Does anyone cook Khichadee like this? The fire is so little and so low and the pot is so high that even the pot will not get warm in this way." Birbal said - "Huzoor, When that man who stood in this cold night in Yamunaa's chilly water for the whole night and could get warmth from a burning lamp post from the 50 yard distance, then why not my Khichadee can be cooked like this?"

The Emperor understood what Birbal meant. He returned to his court, called that man and gave him his reward - 100 gold coins.

That is how this "Birbal Ki Khichadee" phrase came in fashion. When somebody takes extraordinary time to complete some work, people ask - "What? Were you cooking Birbal ki Khichadee?"

The End


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/27/2001
Modified on 08/23/13