Birbal once visited a kingdom as an ambassador of Akbar. The ruler of the kingdom, who heard a lot about Birbal’s intellect, wanted to test it. The king got a dozen lookalikes to dress like him and made them sit on a throne identical to the real throne.

Birbal entered the court. He had never seen the king, and now he was greeted by 13 rulers! Birbal knew he was being tested. He panned his head around to take a look at the “kings”. He set his gaze on one of the kings. Birbal walked towards him, bowed, and said, “Greetings your majesty.”

The king was astonished and so were the lookalikes.

“How did you know I was the real king? We have never met before?” said the amazed ruler.

“Your majesty, the confidence on your face set you apart. While your lookalikes kept giving you glances to see your reaction, you continued seeing straight without the need to see the reaction of others. Only an emperor can display such fortitude, and that is how I identified you.”

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