Who carries the worse luck?

One day, early in the morning, Akbar met with one of his subjects. Later that day, something unfortunate happened. While the Emperor was having breakfast, he ate a strand of hair that was in his food. He said that just because he had seen that particular man, this had happened and he wanted the man to be punished. Some others at the Emperor's court agreed that this man carried very bad luck. Akbar said, "Then he should be hanged."

The poor man was supposed to be hanged on the following day. He knew that the Emperor's court Minister, Birbal, was aware of his plight, so he went to the Minister and begged for help. But the Minister said, "The Emperor wants to have you killed. How can I dare to save you? Impossible!"

"No, you must save me, you must save me," begged the man.

"How?" said the court Minister. "I cannot prevent the Emperor's order from being executed."

Then suddenly the Minister leaned over and whispered something into the man's ear.

The following day, the time came for the man to be hanged. Akbar said to him, "Are you ready?"

The man said, "O Akbar, greatest of Moghul Emperors, you are saying that because you saw me, your fate became most deplorable. Now, can I not also say that because I saw you, my fate has become most deplorable? Had I not seen you, I would not be facing my death at this moment. I may have caused you some bad luck, true, but in my life you have caused me worse luck. You will stay here on earth, but I have to die. So I ask you, who carries the worse luck?"

The Emperor said, "I have lost the case," and the man was set free.