198. The Emperor's Caravansary
Strolling through the garden, Emperor Akbar and Birbal met a sadhu.
"How did you get here?" the emperor asked.
"How did you?" replied the sadhu.
"This is my palace!" exclaimed the emperor.
"I see no palace," replied the sadhu, "only a caravansary."
The emperor was speechless with rage.
"Tell me," said the sadhu, "who lived here before you?"
"And before him?"
"Guests come; guests go. You see: only a caravansary."
The emperor smiled. "A good lesson. What may I give you in return?"
"Just move along," said the sadhu. "You're blocking the sun that warms me."
Inspired by: A Caravan from Hindustan: The Complete Birbal Tales by James Moseley
Notes: This story is titled "Caravanserai" in the book. Compare the famous story of Diogenes and Alexander.