Indian Wisdom of Relativity

Birbal was one of the navratnas (nine jewels) in Mughal Emperor Akbar’s court. These gentlemen were considered to be extraordinary intellectuals and artists. Birbal was known for his wit, and in time, tales about his astuteness spread far and wide. Stories about Birbal getting the better of jealous rival courtiers and his repartee with Akbar are loved by one and all in India. Here’s one such tale about Birbal.

One day Akbar drew a line on the floor with his hand. He then commanded everyone present make the line shorter without erasing any part of it. One after another the courtiers tried to solve the puzzle, but no one could make sense of it. However, it was soon Birbal’s turn and he just drew another longer line next to the first one. Thus, he made the line drawn by Akbar shorter without ever having touched it. Akbar and his courtiers were once again forced to acknowledge Birbal’s unsurpassable wit.

~ Indian Folk Tale




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