The man spent the entire night in the freezing water and went to the court the next morning.
Akbar was astonished that the man accomplished the task . Akbar asked the man ," How did you survive the entire night in the icy cold water?" . The poor man replied, " Your Majesty , there was a lamp on the fort's window. Throughout the night , I was looking at the lamp and kept myself away from the thought of cold."
Hearing the man's reply , Akbar said, " Since you warmed yourself with the heat of the lamp, you are not entitled for any reward."
The poor man turned to Birbal for help.
The next day , Birbal sent a message to the court that he would come only after his khichri( an Indian dish) was cooked. After a long wait , Akbar went to Birbal's house and saw Birbal watching his bowl of khichri cook hanging from a pole five feet above the fire.
Akbar laughed at Birbal and said ," Birbal, your khichri won't cook, It's far from the fire."
Birbal answered , " Your Majesty, this khichri will receive heat from the fire the same way the poor man received heat from the lamp in the far off fort." Akbar realised his mistake and rewarded the poor man.
Story and Picture courtesy Mindmelodies publication