As one finds in every sphere of life, there are people who are always jealous of someone or the other. The same was the case with Tenaliraman and he had not one or two, but many jealous courtiers in King Krishnadeva Raja´s court.
Once they hatched a plot and complained to the king that Tenaliraman may have been bright and knowledgeable but his observation power was very weak. Though the king knew how sharp and observant Tenaliraman was, but to satisfy and calm his courtiers, he told them, ?You can test his observation power since you have doubts about his capability.?
The courtiers got together and after some discussion finally decided to hang two gold balls at a distance from each other and ask Tenaliraman to tell which of them was made of solid gold. Even King Krishnadeva Raya added, ?Tenaliraman, if you succeed in identifying the ball, not only will you be allowed to keep both the balls, but you shall be awarded with one thousand gold coins from the treasury. In case you fail, you shall have to deposit the same amount of gold that has been used in making these balls plus one thousand gold coins.?
Tenaliraman knew that he would be able to prove the courtiers wrong and so he willingly agreed to the conditions laid down.
As Tenaliraman moved closer to the balls, he was told to give his opinion from afar and not touch the balls. Tenaliraman agreed but said that he should be at least allowed to study the balls and he would not touch them. This was agreed upon. Tenaliraman studied the balls from every angle and kept on breathing heavily as though sighing at his plight. He took some time in coming to a conclusion. The courtiers were feeling pleased with themselves, convinced as they were that Tenaliraman would fail in the test.
After some hesitation, Tenaliraman announced, ?The ball on the right hand side of me is made of solid gold.?
The courtiers were struck dumb as the words uttered by Tenaliraman were absolutely correct. Even King Krishnadeva Raya was some what flabbergasted as it was very difficult to say without touching the balls as to which was made of solid gold. So he asked, ?Tenaliraman, how did you know this??
Tenaliraman replied, ?Your Majesty, as you must have noticed, I was studying the balls very minutely. Though I too could not identify the difference between them, but suddenly my eyes fell on the chains with which they were hung and I soon spotted the clue. The chain from which the solid gold ball was hung fell tightly while the other one, when I sighed loudly, moved a bit imperceptibly which I noticed promptly. So I knew that this was the hollow one and the other one had to be of solid gold.?
The king was thrilled at Tenaliraman´s power of observation and his victory over his rivals and duly awarded him. The courtiers, ashamed at their defeat could only hang their heads low in shame.