Shishu Sansaar | Arabian Nights Stories-5
|Arabian Nights Stories-5|
|Story No 91-1-1, 1/11|
In the times of the Caliph Haaroon al-Rasheed, there lived a porter named Sindbaad the Hammaal in Bagadaad city. He was very poor and bore burdens for hire upon his head. One day his burden was very heavy, and the day was hot. As he was passing by, he passed by a door of a merchant. There was a bench there, so he sat down on the bench to take some rest.
On the 537th Night
As he sat there, he heard the sound of music and recitations. He, with delight, peeped in the door and saw a great garden and many servants roaming around. Its scene made him think that it was like a king's house. So he raised his hands, prayed Allaah and recited a few verses. When he finished his verses, he thought to take up his burden and go away, but at the same time a young page came out of the door and said to him - "Come inside, my Master is calling you." Although he wanted to refuse to go inside the door, but he did not. So he put his burden near the door and went inside. There he met a mature handsome man whose beard had started becoming gray. He saluted him respectfully and stood in utmost humility.
On the 538th Night
So the man gave him permission to seat himself. He sat there and was entertained by good wine and food. The porter fell on food. When he had finished his food he thanked his host for his company and the entertainment. The man asked him - "What is your name and what do you do for living?" "My name is Sindbaad the Hammaal and I bear the load for hire." At this the man said - "Know O Sindbaad, that my name is also Sindbaad, but Sindbaad of the Sea. I desire that you let me hear those verses again which you recited outside the door." The poor man got ashamed to hear him, but on insisting, he recited them once more. Sindbaad of the Sea got very pleased to hear. Then he said to the porter - "See, My story is very wonderful and I will tell you what happened to me. I have performed seven voyages which helped me to come to this prosperity, and each voyage has a wonderful tale connected to it, and all stories are just by doom of Fortune and Fate. For from that Destiny writes, there is neither refuge nor flight.
My father stood first in the rank among the people and the merchants. He died when I was very young, leaving to me a great wealth, buildings and fields. When I grew up then I took care of my property, ate well, drank well, and passed my time with my friends. I thought that this life style would continue and profit me, but it did not. My wealth was finished and I was in a poor state. I remembered a tale which I heard long before, of Lord Sulaimaan, the son of Daaood, respecting his saying - "Three things are better than three - the day of death is better than the day of birth; a living dog is better than a dead lion and the grave is better than the palace."
Then I arose and collected what I had, effects and apparel, and sold them; then I sold my buildings and all I had was 3,000 pieces of silver. I decided to go to other lands. So I bought some goods and commodities and some things required for travel. I embarked a ship bound to Basaraa and it came to the city of Basaraa. There we again embarked and sailed here and there for many days and many nights, passed by island after island, from sea to sea, and land to land; and at every place we passed, we bought something, we sold something.
Continuing thus, we came to an island which was like a Paradise. We landed on that island. Some cooked, some washed, I was among those who were amusing themselves. We were doing thus that the Master of our ship called out loudly - "Leave everything and run for your life, because this island is not really an island, but it is a great fish that has become stationary in the sea and the sand has accumulated upon it, the trees have grown upon it, so it looks like an island. The trees have grown upon it and since you have lighted the fire, the fish might feel heat at anytime and it will descend into the sea."
On the 539th Night
At the Captain's warning all passengers left their things, pots or pans, clothes washed or unwashed, gear and goods, then and there and embarked upon the ship, but some could reach the ship, while others not. The island had moved and descended to the bottom of the sea.
I also could not reach the ship, so I also sank in the sea with the others. But God saved me from drowning and kept me in a great wooden bowl in which the passengers were washing. The vessel sailed away in front of my own eyes. I remained in the bowl for one day and night. The wind and the waves brought my bowl to an island where trees were overhanging the sea. I held a branch of a tree and landed on the island. My legs were numb, and I got unconscious. I just lay down on the island till next day. Next day morning I dragged myself in sitting position then crawled. There were many fruits and springs of sweet water so I ate fruits and drank water for several days then I could regain my some energy. I started walking.
One day as I was roaming around that I saw a strange object, but as I reached near it, it appeared to be a mare. I tried to touch her, but she cried with a great cry, and in the meantime a man came from under the earth and asked me - "Who are you? When have you come here? Where have you come from?" I answered - "O My Master, I am a stranger here. I was in a ship, it submerged in the sea with other passengers. God saved me and brought me here." He took me by my hand and asked me to follow him. He took me to a subterranean chamber and offered me food. I ate to my satisfaction. Then he asked about me and I told him what befell me.
Then I asked him not to be displeased with me and tell me who he was and why was he living in a subterranean chamber, and why he had chained the mare? He said - "We are a party dispersed in this island upon its shores. We are the grooms of the King Mihirjan and we take care of all of his horses and every month, in bright fortnight, we bring the swift mares and chain them here. They attract the sea-horses. The children born from them are a good source of good money because such animals are not found on the Earth anywhere. This is the time of coming of the sea-horse."
On the 540th Night
"If the will of God is there, I will take you to my King and then will send you back to your own country. You know this, that if you had not met me, you would have not seen here anyone else. You would have died in misery and nobody would have known it." At the same time many horses came out of the sea and covered the mares. After a while when the mares kicked them out, that man with his other fellows came out, and seeing them, the sea-horse ran away in the sea. Then they asked about me and he told them my story. They spread the table, arranged the food and ate and I also ate with them. Then they mounted the horses and took me with them to their King.
We came to the city of the King Al-Mihirjan. They told my story to him and he desired to see me. I went to him, he welcomed me cordially. I told him the whole story and he thanked Allaah for my safe arrival there. He appointed me the superintendent of the sea-port and registrar of every vessel that came there. I used to visit him regularly for his orders. He invested me costly robes and other kinds o favors. I did not want to live there, so I always enquired the direction of the city of Bagadaad, but none knew it, nor knew any one who went there. One day I went to the King and found him with a party of Indians. They asked about me and I asked about them."
Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 07/24/14