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Arabian Nights Stories

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Arabian Nights - Prolog: How It All Began?

Its background setting is very interesting. There was a Sultaan (king) Shahariyaar became very disappointed with his wife's behavior while he was away, so he declared all the women unfaithful and ordered to behead his wife. He decided to marry a new virgin girl each evening and execute her next morning. Whoever did not obey his order was killed. This created a havoc in the society and so much shortage of unmarried girls.

Sultaan's Vazeer also had two daughters - Shaharzaad and Deenaarzaad. Shaharzaad was elder, very clever and beautiful. Seeing this havoc in the society, one day Shaharzaad requested her father to take the responsibility of supplying these girls to the Sultaan and then one day to supply herself to him. Vazeer was shocked to hear this. The daughter said - "Don't be afraid, I am sure that I will be able to save thousands of girls." But the father wouldn't agree for this. But at last the daughter had made him agreed upon this.

Vazeer went to the Sultaan and told him that he would bring his own daughter to him the following evening. Sultaan said in astonishment - "Are you out of mind? How could you think of this? Doesn't she know my condition?" "She knows." "Then?" "Still she insists." "Remember you will have to take her life yourself, if you refuse... I will take yours." "Sure."

In the meantime Shaharzaad asked her sister to do her a favor, she said - "Today I will be married to Sulataan. Tomorrow morning he will execute me. Before this execution, I want you help. After the marriage I will request him to take you with me, which I think he should grant. Your job is only to wake me up one hour before sunrise, and say "Sister, If you are not asleep, tell me one of your interesting stories." Then I will start telling stories. Hopefully I will save my people thus." Her sister readily agreed for this.

So her father married her to the Sultaan crying a lot. After the marriage ceremony Shaharzaad started crying. On asking why was she crying, she told the Sultaan that she was crying for her sister Deenaarzaad and she would be happy if she would be brought to her to spend the last night of her life. Her sister was immediately called and she requested her to tell a story to pass the night as she was to be executed the next morning.

According to their plan, Deenaarzaad asked her sister to tell one of her wonderful stories a little before sunrise. As it was the last night of her life. Shahazaad did not reply to her sister, rather she addressed Sultaan - "Will you please allow me to tell one story to her?" Sultaan said - "Willingly." So she started telling the story ... THEN

One story led to another and Sultaan had to leave her in the morning to listen to the remaining part of the story the next night. This continued for 1,001 night, at the end of which Shaharzaad presented him with three sons - one walking, one crawling, and one in her lap. At the end of the period the decree of the death was removed and both lived in harmony.

When it was 930th night, Shaharzaad said - "I have story about women's trickery in my mind, but I fear that it may lower my esteem in his sight, but I hope that it will not because it is a rare tale. Women are indeed mischief makers, but that should not be told or disclosed." At this Deenaarzaad said - "O sister of mine, Tell me what is in your mind, and have no fear from the King, because women are like gems, because when they fall in a jeweler's hand he keeps them for himself and leaves all beside them. He might some of them prefer over others, in this way he is like a potter, who has to put all his vessels in an oven and when he takes them out, he has to break some of them. Some of them are used by others while others are returned to be as they were." Then Sharazaad said - "Then tell us, O King, the tale of ..."



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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 05/02/13