Like His Brother
Akbar mother died when he was very young. As he was then just a baby, he needed mother’s milk for his nourishment. There was a nurse in the palace. She too had a baby and used to breast-feed it. She agreed to breast-feed young Akbar also. So Akbar and the baby of the nurse both shared the breast milk of the nurse. The name of the nurse’s son was Husif. Since Husif and Akbar both shared the milk of the same woman, they were like brothers. Akbar had great love for Husif.
Years passed. Akbar became the Emperor and proved himself to be the most powerful ruler of India. But Husif could not become even an ordinary courtier in the royal court. He befriended people, who loved to gamble and spend money on useless things. Gradually, there came a time when Husif had no money to pay even for the two square meals a day. People advised him to go and meet Akbar.
Seeing Husif, Akbar embraced him as if he was his own real brother. He was very happy to see Husif after such a long time. He wanted to help him in every possible manner.
So, Akbar appointed Husif as a courtier in his court. Husif was given a big house, servants, and carriages. He was also paid a huge sum of money every month for his personal expenses.
“I shall be pleased to cater for your other requirements also; if any. Please don’t hesitate,” said Akbar to Husif.
“Already what you have given me is enough for me to live a luxurious life, Your Majesty,” said Husif. “You placed me in a respectable position. I can now walk with dignity! No one is happier than me now. Besides, it is a great honour to me that the Emperor of this country has brotherly relations with me. What more should I want from you?”
Saying so Husif scratched his head and flashed an obliging smile. He seemed to be in need of something else.
“Well, I feel that I should be in the company of someone like Birbal,’’ said Husif. ‘‘He is an intelligent man. I too want someone like him to advise me, the way he advises you.’’
The Emperor decided to fulfil the wish of Husif. He called Birbal. “Husif is like a brother to me,” he said to Birbal. “I gave him everything to live a life in comfort, but he wants someone like you to talk with. So I want you to find out someone who must be very much like you, say, like your own brother who will be able to amuse my brother. He may not be talkative, but whatever he utters, should have some deeper meaning. Do you understand me, Birbal?”
“Yes, Your Majesty!” said Birbal, “You want me to find someone who is like my brother.”
“Right,” said the Emperor.
Birbal began to think of persons who were like brothers to him. Husif was lucky to have a brother like Akbar to bless him with all the comforts. But Birbal did not like the way Husif had asked for someone like him. Akbar had great regards for Birbal. Birbal too had love and regards for the Emperor. But Husif in any case, did not deserve to have someone at his aide like Birbal was at Akbar’s.
Just as Birbal was thinking of some way to solve the matter, a bull from the cowshed began to bellow. Birbal sprang up on his feet. At last he had found someone who was like his brother.
Next day, he went to see the Emperor in the palace along with the bull.
“Why have you brought this bull here, Birbal?” asked the Emperor.
“He is my brother, Your Majesty,” said Birbal. “Because, both of us were nourished by the milk of the same mother cow, therefore, this bull is like my brother. He speaks less, but can advise on any issue only if the listener can understand him. So this bull fulfils the desire of Husif to have someone like me.”
Akbar was amused. Birbal had opened his eyes, and made clear that there could be no other person like Birbal, as there could be no other person like Akbar. Both were unmatched.