Birbal back to square one
He was flaunting his knowledge about the solar system and the earth-'s shape. At one point Akbar said, -'You say that the earth is round in shape, so ...
He was flaunting his knowledge about the solar system and the earth's shape. At one point Akbar said, "You say that the earth is round in shape, so if one travels in a straight line, then he will come back to the same spot from where he started the journey. Isn’t it?"
"Yes, theoretically, it is correct Alampanah!”said the astrologer.
"Why not in real life?" asked the king. "Because one will have to cross vast oceans, high mountains and dense forests to keep the path straight," said the astrologer. "Well, that can be taken care of! Sail th rough the oceans, make tunnels in the mountains and use elephants to cross the forests," suggested Akbar. "No sir, still it is not possible," said the astrologer.
"Why?" asked Akbar. "It will take many years to complete the whole journey," replied the astrologer. "How many years, tell me?" asked Akbar. "I cannot calculate that! May be a hundred years or more," said the flustered astrologer. "Don't worry about that. I will ask my courtiers. They have an answer for everything," saying this, Akbar looked at his ministers.Various answers came from the audience: "Impossible to calculate!" "Around 25 years!"
"Fifty years or less." "1000 days!" Everybody said something or the other but Birbal kept quiet. "Birbal, I did not expect you to be so silent. Do you have no answer for this question?" the Emperor showed his surprise at Birbal's silence. "I was just calculating the time required to go round the earth," retorted Birbal. "And did you get the answer?" asked Akbar. “Yes, I did! It will take just one day," said Birbal.
"Just one day! Birbal, it is Impossible! I wonder how you even came up with that answer. In one day, we will not be able to cross the territories of our own kingdom," Said Akbar. "It is possible, Alampanah! Provided you travel at the speed of the sun," said Birbal with a smile.