Stories of Akbar and Birbal are extremely popular in India. The several instances when Birbal uses his wit and intelligence to calm the ire of Emperor Akbar and amuse him at the same time, are told to children from a very early age. Lets find in this story how did the Emeror Akbar got his most valuable gem, Birbal
Emperor Akbar loved to go hunting. On one such trip, he came across a young man named Mahesh Das. In the meeting that occurred, the Emperor was extremely impressed by the wit of Mahesh Das. The Emperor gave Mahesh Das his ring and asked him to come and visit him in his palace at any time.
A few years later Mahesh Das decided to try his luck in the city and to take the emperor up on his offer. He reached the city of Agra where Emperor Akbar had his fort on the banks of the Yamuna River. At the gate of the fort he was greeted by the guards. He told them that he had come to visit with the emperor. The guards looked at him in disdain (since he was not very well dressed) and asked him why they should let him in. He showed them the ring that was given to him by the emperor as proof. One of the guards realized that this individual obviously was of importance to the emperor and gave him permission to enter, based on one condition:the young man would share half of what he received from the emperor with the guard.
Mahesh Das promised to do so and was given access into the court of Emperor Akbar. He bowed to the emperor as he went in and showed him the ring. The reputedly benevelont Emperor Akbar recognized the ring and the young man and immediately offered him anything he wanted. The young man thought a while, and asked the emperor for fifty lashes of the whip. The emperor was amazed but he knew that Mahesh Das was a very astute young man and asked him for his reason for his wish. Mahesh Das revealed to the emperor that deal that he had made with the guard outside the fort. The emperor was thoroughly amused and angry at the same time. He awarded the fifty lashes to the guard for his impertinence and his habit of bullying people. He rewarded Mahesh Das by including him in his court and giving him all the comforts he could desire. He also bestowed on him the name of Birbal.