Shishu Sansaar | Arabian Nights Stories-5
|Arabian Nights Stories-5|
|Story No 91-4-1, 6/11|
Sindbaad is Married
On the 550th Night contd ...
"Next day Sindbaad continued his story about his fourth voyage - "When I returned to my home, my friends and family rejoiced in utmost pleasure and happiness and I forgot all sorrows of the voyage by reason of the abundance of my gains. I passed some time with them enjoying life that my wicked soul suggested me to travel again, so I purchased again many things suitable for voyage and came to the city of Basaraa where I embarked a ship and joined a party of the chief man of Basaraa. So we sailed through day and nights, from city to city, island to island, sea to sea.
While we were sailing, one day, a wind rose against us and the Master of the ship had to cast his anchor in the midst of the sea fearing that she would sink in the midst of the deep. And while we were in this state humbling ourselves to God, a great blow of wind came and it tore our sails and people were drowned with all their goods and wealth. I was also drowned in the sea, but I swam in the sea for a full half day after which I abandoned myself as lost but God helped me to hold one of the planks of the ship and a few people and myself got upon it."
On the 551st Night
Shaharzaad continued her story - "Sindbaad further said - "While the ship sank, after half a day of swimming I and some other passengers had held a plank. We continued sitting upon it a day and a night rowing it with our feet. The winds were helping us; while on the following day, shortly before the midday, a wind rose against us and the water cast us upon an island. We were like dead men from the excess of sleeplessness and fatigue, cold and hunger and fear and thirst.
We roamed around and found a herb abundantly growing there, so we ate some of that herb and passed the night upon the shore of the island. Next morning we again walked about the island and saw an inhabited house far off. As we reached there, some naked men came out of the house and took us to their King. The King asked us to sit down and we sat. They served us some food but we did not know what kind of food it was because we had never seen it before in our lives. My fellows ate it because of hunger but I could not eat it. But as soon as they ate that food their reasoning left their mind and they started behaving like madmen. Then those savages gave them cocoa-nut oil to drink and after drinking it they started eating savagely. I understood in a while that it was the Magian tribe, whose king was a Gul. They used to catch people, feed them in this way, and when they were fat, they would cut them and eat them.
Seeing this I was worried about my fellows and myself. Those naked men now were pasturing them like animals and making them fat. The naked men had forgotten about me so one day I slipped from there and made my way to a beach, which was very far. There I saw a man sitting upon something elevated in the midst of the sea. I introduced myself to him and Lo, he was the man to whom the King had given my companions that he might pasture them and he had many of them like them with him. As soon as he saw me he knew that I was in the possession of my reason, so he made a sign to me from a distance to turn back and go along the road on my right which would take me on the King's highway.
So I took the road on my right and walked fast on that road fearing. I walked till I disappeared from his sight. The darkness also approached, so I sat down and decided to sleep, but the sleep wouldn't come to me because of hunger, fatigue and fear. I rested for some time and at midnight I again rose and walked till the Sun rose high. I was hungry so I began to eat herbs and vegetables that were grown on the island till I got satisfied. I started walking on that day and the next night, whenever I was hungry, eating vegetables grown there.
This I did for seven days and seven nights, then on the morning of the of the eighth day, I saw a faint object until I came to it, that was after the sunset. When I got nearer to it, I recognized it a party of men gathering pepper grains. As I reached to them, they surrounded me and asked about me - "Who are you? When did you come?" I said - "I am a poor foreigner," and I told them my story." Seeing morning broke Shaharzaad stopped her story.
On the 552nd Night
Next night she again started her story - "So those pepper grain gathering men asked me - "How did you escape from the blacks, and how did you pass by them on this island when they are numerous here and eat men. No one is safe here from them." So I told them what had happened when I was among them and the way they took my companions and fed them with food of which I did not eat. So they congratulated me on my safety.
When they had finished their work, they made me sit with them and offered me some nice food. I ate it and rested with them for a while. After that they took me to embark me in a vessel and went to their island home. Then they took me to their King. The King asked me my story and when I told him that, he also wondered at it. Then he offered me some food, showed me his city. It was a very flourishing city. So I became very happy at arriving at this city. I saw that its people rode fine horses without saddles. I wondered at this and asked the King - "Do you ride the horse without the saddle, because the saddle gives the rider ease and additional power?" He asked - "What is that? I have never seen it." Then I asked him - "Will you permit me to make a saddle for you to ride upon?" "Please, Do so."
So I asked him to give me some wood and all that I required. I taught the carpenter to make the saddle. After the saddle was complete, I brought one of the finest horses of the King and girded the saddle upon it, I took it to the King and the King got very happy to see it and gave me a large reward. When his Vazeer saw that I had made that saddle, he asked me to make one for him too. So I made one for him too. Then came others also so I employed myself in making these things and sold them to high ranked people; and I collected abundant wealth. They loved me exceedingly.
I enjoyed my work, till one day the King called me in utmost happiness and honor, and said to me - "You have become a part of us. Now we cannot part with you nor we will allow you to depart from our city. I wish that you should take care of my one affair, and don't say "No" to it." So I asked him - "What is that? I will not reject it because you have shown me so much favor and kindness." He said - "I wish to marry you a girl from among us who is beautiful, rich, and elegant in loveliness. And then you will live with us. I will offer you a place in my palace. Do not oppose me, nor reject what I have said to you..." When I heard this, I was abashed and silent because of the regard I had for him. So he said - "Why don't you reply, my son?" And I said - "It is your command." So he immediately called the Kaazee and witnesses and married me to a woman of noble rank, of high lineage, and of great beauty and wealth."
On the 553rd Night
Next night Shaharzaad continued the story of Sindbaad - "After he married me to that woman, he gave me a handsome standalone house, servants and assigned me supplies and salaries. Thus I lived there in utmost ease and happiness. I thought that when I would go to my country, I would take her with me; but nobody knows what happens to one. I loved my wife and she loved me. We lived in this state for a long time.
Then one day my neighbor's wife died and he was a companion of mine. So I went to console him and saw him an a most evil state, weary in soul and heart. I consoled him saying - "Don't mourn so much for her, God will happily compensate you with a better wife and you will live long." But he wept bitterly and said - "How can I marry another one when only one day remains of my life?" So I asked - "Do not announce your own death; for you are well in health and prosperity." He said - "By your life, Tomorrow you will lose me and will never see me again." "How so?" He said - "The day they will bury my wife, this is our custom in our country, that when the wife dies, her husband is buried alive with her; and when the husband dies they bury the wife alive with him. so that neither may enjoy life without one another." I said - "This is a very strange and cruel system and none can endure it."
While we were talking like this, other people also came to console him. Then they prepared his wife's body to be buried and took it to the side of a mountain. They threw the woman in a well; then they brought the man, tied him by a rope of fibers of palm tree and let him down the pit. They also let down a jug of sweet water and seven cakes of bread. After that he loosened himself and they pulled the rope up. Seeing this I exclaimed - "Oh My Allaah, This death is more grievous than the previous death." I then went to the King and said to him - "O Lord, How is it that you bury a live man along with the dead in your country?" He said - "This is our custom from our forefathers." I said - "O King, You will behave in the same way with me also as you have behaved with this man?" He said - "Yes."
When I heard this my gall bladder almost burst with grief and I became fearful, lest my wife dies before me and they bury me alive with her. Then I just consoled myself and wished that I might die before her or maybe I can return to my own land before anybody dies here...."
Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 07/24/14