Foot on The Soil

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One day, Emperor Akbar came to the court and started attending to the routine court work. Just then, a messenger arrived with queen’s message that she wanted urgently to see the Emperor in her palace.
When the Emperor was readying to depart, all the courtiers stood. Birbal too, but while doing so, he passed a furtive smile which was noticed by the Emperor and he took it as an insult to him.
Emperor Akbar at once ordered Birbal to get out of his kingdom and not tread the soil of his land again or he would be beheaded.
Birbal obeyed the Emperor’s order and left.
Several months passed by after Birbal had left the court.
By now, the Emperor’s anger had cooled down. So he decided to get Birbal back to the court and sent his messengers everywhere to seek him out. But Birbal could not be traced.
One day, when the Emperor was standing in the balcony, he saw a horse carriage coming towards the palace. He noticed Birbal sitting in it.
The carriage was stopped. Akbar again lost his temper as Birbal had violated royal order forbidding his stepping into the kingdom. He asked angrily, “Birbal, what are you doing here?”
“Huzoor,” Birbal replied politely, “I left for Nepal the very day you banished me into exile. I got the floor of my carriage covered with the soil of Nepal and returned but never put my foot out of it. To honour your order I remain in the carriage always with my feet on Nepalese soil.’’
The Emperor was pleased with Birbal’s answer. He smiled, pardoned and asked him to attend the court from the next morning.

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