Darkness Under The Lamp
Akbar and Birbal were sitting in the palace balcony watching the sunrise. The sunrays falling on the sparkling waters of the Yamuna river gave it a shimmering golden sheen. The Emperor used to watch this natural show everyday.
Suddenly, their attention was diverted by some noise. They noticed a few thieves fleeing after looting some travellers. The poor travellers were crying.
The Emperor ordered his guards to catch the thieves but the thieves had already disappeared. The guards returned empty handed.
The Emperor was furious to see the soldiers come back empty handed. Nothing could have been worse than the failure of the royal guards in capturing the thieves who had robbed people right in front of the palace itself.
The Emperor was terribly upset. He asked Birbal, “All that has happened because our administration is worthless. Isn’t it a matter of shame? A common man is robbed right under the nose of the Emperor and he watches helplessly, imagine !”
Birbal said, “Your Majesty, there is an explanation. Although a lamp spreads light all around, yet it is always dark under the lamp.”
The Emperor was very much pleased with Birbal’s reasoning. He compensated the travellers, pardoned the guards and rewarded Birbal handsomely for saving his face.