There is no dearth of interesting stories from the stable of Akbar-Birbal. King Akbar was very impressed with fair judgement of Birbal and used to consult him in all important matters. His amazing presence of mind solved many cases in the court of Akbar. One such story was of Ramdas and Govind.
Ramdas was an old man who once thought of going on a pilgrimage to the holy places. But his biggest worry was where to keep his money that was also his lifetime savings. At last, he decided to entrust the money to his neighbour Govind. Ramdas kept all his savings in a jar and gave it to Govind.
After visiting the holy places, Ramdas returned to the kingdom after a gap of six months. Soon, he went to the Govind and asked for his jar. Ramdas came back with the jar but to his astonishment he found no money in the jar. The money was replaced with the pickles. Ramdas could not get it so he once again, went back to Govind and demanded his money but Govind plainly refused having taken it. Ramdas tried to argue and convince but Govind did not budge.
Ramdas finally decided to complain to the King Akbar. On hearing the case, Akbar asked Birbal to decide the case. Birbal being the wise man first inspected the jar carefully. He asked Govind, “Can you confirm this is the same jar that Ramdas had entrusted you with?”
Govind replied, “Yes, this is the same jar that Ramdas had given to me.” He also said that he was never aware of what was inside the jar because he never looked inside it.
Birbal said, “now that the jar contain pickle I will send for women from the royal kitchen.” When the women came Birbal asked them to carefully examine the pickle. Then he asked them, “How old is the pickle”. The women replied, “The pickle is less than a month old because mango pieces are still fresh.”
Birbal understood it and told Govind, “So now that your lie has been caught it’s better if you return the money to Ramdas and ask for forgiveness from the Emperor.” Govind knew that he could not escape any longer so he confessed his theft and poor Ramdas deservedly got back his money.