King Krishnadeva Raya was holding court when in walked a learned man. After paying his respects to the king, he said, ?Your Majesty'scourtiers are earning fame and praise all over the country for their intelligence. To test how far this is true, if Your Majesty were to agree, can I test their intelligence??
The king replied that he had no objection and the scholar could go ahead with his test. Turning to one of the courtiers, the scholar asked, ?Can you tell me what my mother tongue is??
So to test his mother tongue, one courtier talked to him in Hindi, the other in Tamil, the third in Telugu and so on in other languages too. To the surprise of all, the scholar answered each in the language in which he was addressed. But the courtiers were not able to identify his mother tongue. The courtiers were aghast at his felicity in all the languages and hence his scholarship was confirmed.
King Krishnadeva Raya now turned to Tenaliraman and asked ?Tenaliraman what about you trying to identify the scholar'smother tongue??
Tenaliraman, who had been observing the proceedings with keen interest, humbly offered, ?Your Majesty, can I first touch the scholar'sfeet in respect??
Even before the king could give his consent, Tenaliraman moved towards the scholar and deliberately stepped on his toes. The scholar shouted out in pain, Amma, Amma. Tenaliraman immediately turned towards the king to say, ?Your Majesty, as you may have noticed, this scholar is a Tamilian (i.e., belonging to Tamil Nadu). I deliberately stepped on his toes because when you are in pain or grief, you tend to cry out in your mother tongue.?
Tenaliraman then turned to the scholar with folded hands to seek his forgiveness for having stepped on his toes.
The scholar replied, ?Tenaliraman, I am deeply impressed by your intelligence. I have not been seriously hurt that I should complain about it.? Then looking towards the king, the scholar said, ?Your Majesty, I am dumbfounded at the sharp wit of your courtier. I accept defeat and would like to leave this kingdom, never to return again.?
The king accepted the visitor'sdefeat and paid glowing tributes to Tenaliraman for his intelligence, much to the chagrin of the other courtiers who were jealous of Tenaliraman'spopularity with the king.