Cooking the Biryani

It was winter. The ponds were frozen. At the court, the king asked Mullah Nasruddin, ‘Tell me Mullah! Will a man do anything for money?’ Mullah replied, 'Yes'. The king ordered him to prove it.

The next day Nasruddin came to the court with a poor farmer whose family was starving. Nasruddin told the king the farmer was ready to do anything for money. The king ordered the farmer to stand in a frozen pond all night without any warm clothes. The poor farmer spent the night in the pond, shivering. He returned to court the next day to get his reward. The king asked ‘Tell me! How could you withstand the extreme cold all night?’ The farmer replied ‘I could see a faintly glowing light a kilometre away and I withstood it with that ray of light.’ The king refused to pay the farmer saying he had got warmth from the light and that was cheating. The poor farmer could not argue and returned empty-handed. Nasruddin tried to explain to the king but the king was in no mood to listen.

Thereafter, Nasruddin stopped coming to court and sent a messenger to the king saying he would come to the court only after cooking his biryani. As Nasruddin didn’t turn up for 5 days, the king went to his house. Nasruddin had lit a fire and kept a pot of uncooked biryani a metre away from it. The king asked ‘How will the biryani get cooked with the fire a metre away?’ Nasruddin replied ‘Oh king! When it was possible for a person to get warmth from a light a kilometre away, then it’s possible for this biryani, which is just a metre away from heat, to get cooked.’

The king understood his mistake. He called the poor farmer and gave him 2000 gold coins.