A Drop of Perfume
It was Emperor Akbar’s birthday. The court was beautifully decorated. Sweets, perfumes and roses were being distributed in the court.
While applying perfume to his hands, one drop of perfume fell on the Emperor’s carpet. The Emperor quickly bent down trying to dab the drop with his finger.
But the drop was soaked in the thick carpet. Suddenly, Akbar noticed Birbal watching him very carefully. He felt very much embarrassed and began thinking of some way to prove to Birbal that perfume was of hardly any value to him.
So, the next day, the Emperor asked his servants to fill the water tank of the palace with good quality perfume.
His orders were immediately carried out and the tank was filled with good quality perfume.
An announcement was made on the Emperor's behalf in the capital, “Take away as much perfume as you want.”
Within minutes there was a big crowd at the royal palace gates to get the perfume.
The Emperor was now satisfied. He thought, 'Now, Birbal will realise that perfume is of hardly any value to me.’
He asked Birbal, “Well, Birbal? Isn’t it fun to distribute royal perfume amongst the subjects? See how happy they are.”
Birbal calmly replied, “Huzoor, the prestige lost due to one drop of perfume cannot be regained by a tankful of it!”