STORIES: A Trip To Heaven

Hello! This is an Akbar – Birbal tale. 


Akbar was a great admirer of Birbal. This made his courtiers and attendants jealous of Birbal. With the help of the court barber, they hatched a plot to get rid of him.

One day while trimming the Emperor’s beard, the barber said,”Huzoor! Last night  I saw your father in my dreams.”

Akbar’s eyes opened wide with interest.

Fanning his emotions the barber continued,”Huzoor, your father said to me that everything is fine and great in Heaven but……”

“But? But what!” the Emperor pushed aside his hand which held the scissors, and looked at him in great concern.

The barber furtively looked here and there, and in a hushed voice whispered into the Emperor’s ears, “Jahanpanah there is no one to amuse him. He is missing a humorous company.

Now Akbar could only think of Birbal. He knew that the way to reach heaven was only death. A moment he was sad, but thinking of his father, he made up his mind.

He summoned Birbal and said, “I know Birbal you love me very much and you can sacrifice anything for me.”

Birbal tried to read the king’s mind, but could not guess anything. He said,”Yes, I do.”

“Then Birbal, please go to heaven to entertain my father,” Akbar entreated.

Birbal understood the wicked plan, but politely agreed saying,”I will do so, but I need time to prepare myself to go to heaven.”

The king readily gave him a week’s time.

Now Birbal was worried. He new that he could not escape from this situation. He racked his brain hard and finally found a solution.

He dug a ditch near his house which would serve as his grave, and made a tunnel from the ditch that led to a room in is house. He completed this in one week and returned to the court.

To Akbar, he said pleasantly,”Your Majesty, I am ready, but I have two conditions. First, I wish to be buried near my house. And second, I wish to be buried alive so that I can reach heaven alive to amuse your father.”

The king considered it as his last wish and agreed promptly.

So Birbal was buried alive near his house. As planned he escaped through the tunnel and lived in confinement for six months.

Then one day, he came out of the hiding with long beard and shabby hair. He asked permission to appear in the royal court.

Everyone was surprised to see him. Akbar’s eyes widened with wonder and delight. Anxiously he asked Birbal about his trip to heaven.

Birbal replied,” Your  Majesty, I had a very good time there. Your father was so happy with my services that he gave me special permission to return to Earth.”

Akbar was overwhelmed,”Did he send any message for me?”

Birbal answered,”Yes, he has asked you to send your own barber to him immediately as there is no barber in the heaven.”

Then running his fingers through his beard, with a sheepish smile, he continued,”You can see this from my grown beard and shabby hair.”

Akbar understood everything. He rewarded Birbal, and gave a life sentence to the wicked barber.