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Sindbad the Sailor

In the splendid reign of the wise caliph Haroun al Rashid, amidst the bustling city of Baghdad, resided a humble porter named Hindbad. Known for his strength and tireless spirit, Hindbad toiled through the streets carrying heavy burdens. However, one scorching day, overcome by weariness, he sought solace from his labour. Fate led him to an opulent mansion, where intoxicating fragrances and enchanting melodies filled the air. Intrigued, Hindbad inquired about the owner and learned it belonged to Sindbad the sailor, a legendary adventurer.

Overwhelmed by the contrast between Sindbad's extraordinary life and his own humble existence, Hindbad questioned the fairness of fortune. His words reached the ears of a compassionate servant, who guided Hindbad to Sindbad's presence. Led through grand corridors, Hindbad entered a magnificent hall, where Sindbad sat at the head of a table, surrounded by a retinue of officers and servants. Eager to understand Hindbad's plight, Sindbad invited him to join the gathering.

Sindbad, radiating warmth and curiosity, seated Hindbad at his side and personally served him the finest tea and coffee. Hindbad confessed his remorse for his earlier words, and Sindbad, with a benevolent smile, forgave him. Sindbad then explained that his present comfort was not easily acquired, but rather the result of enduring immense physical and mental hardships throughout his years of adventure. Sensing an opportunity, Sindbad offered to share his extraordinary tales of his seven great adventures with the company, seeking to enlighten Hindbad and to dispel his misconceptions.

He inherited a vast estate from his wealthy father but squandered it in a life of excess. Realizing his mistake and the value of time, he decided to follow in his father's footsteps and became a merchant. He embarked on a journey to the Indies with fellow merchants, encountered a sea monster, survived a shipwreck, and eventually found himself rescued and taken to the court of a local maharaja on an island.

Soon, his thirst for excitement called him back to the sea. On a mysterious island covered in fruit trees, Sindbad ate a delicious meal and woke up from a nap to find that his ship had vanished! Being stranded led Sindbad to an encounter with the Roc, a legendary bird, and became a part of his plan to escape an enchanted valley of diamonds guarded by serpents. After that, they journeyed together via the Isle of Roha all the way to Basra.

On his third voyage, Sindbad’s ship was set off course by a storm, Sindbad and his companions anchored on a series of unknown islands. On the first island, they met terrifying beings about two feet tall and covered in wild red hair, who swarmed the ship, forced the crew to disembark, and dragged the ship to another island. On that island, they found their way to a majestic palace, home to a genie that fed on human flesh and devoured the Captain. They put together makeshift rafts and set sail overnight, only to be caught by serpents before finally escaping to human shores and returning with a bountiful treasure.

On his fourth journey, amidst a violent storm, leading to a shipwreck and the loss of companions and cargo, Sindbad and a few survivors reached an island where they were captured by cannibalistic natives, who intended to fatten them up for a feast. Sindbad found refuge in a pepper-gathering community, where he built a life for himself despite yearning for Baghdad in his heart. He escaped death upon the demise of his wife, for local custom dictated that living spouses were buried with their deceased partners. Setting sail for the fifth time, Sindbad the Sailor ends up in a battle with rocs and apes to return to Baghdad with an extremely large quantity of coconuts.

On his sixth tour, Sindbad and his crew fought onsets of insanity in the Persian Gulf and landed at the islands in the Indies. In a turn of events, in exchange for help, Sindbad returned to Baghdad with an offer of an alliance from the Maharaja of Serendip. The Caliph was extremely pleased with Sindbad and rewarded him handsomely.

Sindbad took one last exciting trip back to Serendip with presents from the Caliph before finally settling in Baghdad. He also gave Hindbad 100 coins each day for listening to his stories. By the end of the week, Hindbad no longer needed to work as a porter. Hindbad also had a newfound respect for Sindbad, who invited him to eat at his table. After this, Sindbad and Hindbad became very good friends for a lifetime.


Source: 1001 Nights

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