Once Akbar’s court was visited by an eminent Pundit who was well versed in many languages. He challenged everybody in the Court that he could answer any question in any languages. No doubt he used to answer queries in whichever language he was asked. Nobody could guess his true mother tongue.
He once said to Emperor Akbar that by tomorrow your courtier’s should tell me which is my mother tongue and if they failed to do so, I assume that I am superior than all your courtiers.
Everyone in the court thought it to be an easy job and pleaded their inability to judge his mother tongue. But everyone failed now Akbar turned to Birbal to solve this problem. Birbal accepted the challenge and asked for some time till the next morning. Time was granted & the durbar (social gathering) was dismissed.
When the Pundit was fast asleep Birbal tickled his ear with hay (dry Grass). That night Birbal went to Pundit’s house and entered his bedroom. When the Pundit was fast asleep Birbal tickled his ear with hay (dry Grass). The Pundit’s sleep was disturbed, he turned to the other side and slept, again Birbal tickled his other ear. Now Pundit’s sleep was disturbed he woke up and loudly said “Yevvurura Adi” (Who is that?) and seeing no one he went back to sleep. Birbal came out of his house unnoticed.
The next morning, the court assembled, and the Pundit was also invited. Pundit again started in different languages, finally Birbal said that ‘TELUGU’ is the mother tongue of the Pundit. The Pundit was very much surprised at Birbal’s answer and he accepted the defeat and left the court.
Akbar asked Birbal, how he found out the true mother tongue. Birbal said that a man in distress will talk in his mother tongue whenever he is disturbed in sleep and then narrated the happening of the previous night. Akbar praised Birbal for his timely Wisdom.