Thinking out of the box

School life has its share of competitions. Some are more challenging than others but fun to participate in all the same. The competitions require skill, smartness and patience but what gives competitors an edge is, thinking out of the box. Just like how Birbal did when Akbar threw him a challenge. Want to know how? Read on.

Once, for some reason, Akbar got annoyed with Birbal. So much so, that he asked Birbal to leave his kingdom. Birbal left the palace and began to work for a farmer in an unknown village far away.

Now to Akbar, Birbal was more than just a minister. He was his closest friend too. So naturally the emperor began to miss his friend dearly. He was also facing difficulties in solving the various issues that arose in the ruling of his kingdom. Birbal had always made it easier for him with his wit and intelligence. Regretting his outburst, Akbar sent his soldiers to find him. But the soldiers could not find Birbal anywhere.

Akbar knew that the only way to get his friend back would be by announcing a challenge. He asked the head of every village to send him a pot of wit.

Everyone in the kingdom was baffled. How does one fill a pot with wit? Can you see or feel wit? Then how can you get a pot of wit? And thus flowed the questions which reached Birbal’s ears. Birbal assured the head of the village where he was residing, that he would get a pot of wit ready in a month’s time.

Birbal selected a small watermelon plant from the many he was growing in the farm. Without cutting the fruit he put it into a pot. He tended the plant with water and fertilisers and the watermelon in the pot continued to grow steadily. By the end of the month the watermelon was the same size as the pot from the inside. Birbal cut the plant leaving the watermelon in the pot and sent it to Emperor Akbar. His condition was clear. The watermelon had to be removed from the pot without breaking it to get wisdom from the pot. Birbal had matched the challenge with a challenge of his own!

The instant Akbar saw the pot he knew it was Birbal’s work. He immediately rushed to the village and brought Birbal back with him.

Birbal proved that thinking out of the box is certainly rewarding!

To reflect upon

Have you or any of your friends come up with a different solution for any problem? What was it? How did it make you feel?

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Comments (2)

Superb narrative 👍

Thank you, Seema

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