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Gopal was a clever and witty barber, He lived in a small kingdom, ruled by a king called Raja Krishna Chandra. The Raja often turned to Gopal to help him out of difficult situations or solve a difficult problem.

In Gopal’s city, Hilsa fish was a very popular dish. Hilsa fish being available only once a year, never failed to grab everyone’s attention and interest. When it was Hilsa season, house wives exchanged recipes, shopkeepers discussed the latest price of Hilsa. Fishermen talked about catching the biggest Hilsa of the season.

The King Raja Krishna was surprised to see even his courtiers discussing Hilsa fish rather than more important state matters. Finally, unable to bear this anymore he decided to put an end to all this talk about the fish. He thought he would be at peace even if people would stop about it for a few minutes. He announced an award of fifty gold coins to anyone who could bring to the palace a big Hilsa fish from the market. The only condition being that while bringing the fish to the palace no passerby must talk about the fish.

Even after a week not one succeeded in this challenge, simple as the task seemed many tried to attempt it but the look of Hilsa fish did not fail to excite remarks from onlookers. After a week Gopal decided to take the challenge.

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He woke up one morning, shaved off half of his beard, put mud all over his face and hair, put on old clothes and wore his shirt backwards.

hilsa-fish-challenge-shortstoriescoin-image The Hilsa Fish Challenge

His wife when she looked at him demanded to know where he was going looking like a tramp. Gopal simply smiled and said he was going to the market to buy the biggest Hilsa fish available. So saying he left her and headed to the market. There he bought a big Hilsa fish, he started walking towards the palace making very little effort to hide the fish.

On the way people who met him were shocked at Gopal’s appearance. They wondered if he had finally gone mad. What with mud on his face and his beard half shaven he did look strange. some others feared that Gopal had lost his memory. When Gopal reached the palace gates the guards hardly recognised him and wouldn’t let him inside. One guard went inside to inform the king, the king summoned Gopal inside. He took one look at Gopal and was shocked to see his best advisor looking like a tramp. He demanded Gopal to explain himself. Gopal merely laughed and replied that he had won the challenge and the king owed him fifty gold coins.

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The king looked confused he wanted to know what challenge was Gopal talking about. Gopal unwrapped a big Hilsa fish from under his arms and showed it to the king. No one who had met him had spoken anything about the fish, in fact no one had noticed the fish, Gopal’s looks had taken away all their attention. The king laughed at Gopal’s cleverness and gave Gopal fifty gold coins and suggested he go home at once and clean himself. Gopal went home happier and richer.


Moral: A smart trick is enough to divert minds of the people around you and achieve your goal.

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