The Wail of The River
In was rainy season. Yamuna river was in spate and overflowing. The gushing water was making a lot of noise. The Emperor’s palace was situated on the river bank. He was fast asleep.
It was a peaceful night and so, the frightening sound of the roaring river could be heard very clearly.
Suddenly in the midnight, the Emperor woke up disturbed by the roar of the water. He tried again to sleep but the sound of the swirling waters was too loud to let him sleep again.
Finally, he got up and went to the window. Listening to the noise, the Emperor thought, ‘Is the river wailing?’ He thought for a long time but could not come to any conclusion.
The next morning, when the Emperor came to the court, he asked the courtiers, “Why does the river wail?” But no one could give a satisfactory answer to it. Then the Emperor asked for Birbal.
When Birbal came, Akbar asked him the same question.
Birbal said, “Your Majesty, I shall be able to answer your question only after listening to the river with my own ears.”
The Emperor agreed, “Well, come to my palace tonight!”
In the night, it was calm and quiet everywhere except the sound of river water that could be heard clearly. Birbal was with the Emperor at that time.
Again, the Emperor posed the same question to Birbal. Birbal said, “Your Majesty, the river is going to her husband (the sea) from her father (mountain). She is feeling very sad to leave her father’s abode and so, she wails.”
The Emperor was delighted at the clever reply of inventive Birbal.