Friday, February 8, 2013


                        Sindhu was the only daughter of a learned cobbler of South India. Her mother died while she was very young. Under her father's instruction, Sindhu earned proficiency in the principles of morality, stories of virtuous characters and the divine messages depicted in the great epics of India. She was very beautiful and good-natured. She loved nature and had several pet animals. She used to teach the girls of her village the stories she learned from her father.
                       They were staying in a house owned by a landlord. The cobbler made a pair of extremely beautiful sandals for Sindhu using all his skills and the finest materials available. She preserved the sandals as a treasure. Once there was a large flood and their landlord's daughter fell into the flooding river by accident. Her father died while trying to save the girl. Poor Sindhu was orphaned.
                       The kind landlord let her stay in his house where there were a large number of servants. But the landlady was cruel and made Sindhu work hard. She cut off Sindhu's beautiful black hair and gave her only the old clothes worn by her own daughter as the landlady and her haughty daughter were envious of Sindhu's natural beauty and unusual knowledge. The other servants made her do most of the hard works and ill-treated her in all possible ways. She had to draw and bring water from a distant well, clean, feed and milk the cows, clean the house, premises and the animal house, look after the vegetable garden and work in the kitchen to prepare the meals for all. She suffered in silence and did her duties with dedication and perfection.
                       Every evening, she used to go to the small temporary tomb where the remains of her father's dead body were preserved for an year before the ceremonious mixing with the water of a holy river. During this visit she used to put on the pair of sandals her father had gifted to her, in remembrance of her loving father. Reaching the tomb, she would remove her sandals and light an oil lamp in memory of the departed soul as per the customs of her community.
                      One evening, as she was lighting the lamp at the tomb after removing her sandals, a bird snatched one of the sandals and flew away. The bird dropped the sandal before the king while he was engaged in an evening walk near his palace. He showed it to his son, the prince. They were fascinated by the beauty of the sandal. The court astrologer advised that it was a signal from heaven and the owner of the sandal should be identified. She would be the ideal bride for the prince.
                       The king decreed that the prince would marry the girl whose foot correctly fits the sandal. He sent his soldiers all around the country with the sandal. A large number of  ladies of the country rushed to test their feet, but none of them suited the sandal. Finally the soldiers found out that Sindhu was the real owner of the sandal. The king and prince arrived to meet and greet her. She reluctantly produced the other pair of the sandal from her bundle of old clothes. The king and the prince were impressed by her unusual wisdom, winsome manners and natural beauty. The royal wedding was celebrated ceremoniously. Sindhu reigned successfully as the princess and later as the queen for several years. She introduced reforms to help the poor and downtrodden people. Her days are remembered in the country as the golden age in its history.
                       God has plans for every person - plans to bring prosperity and not disaster.
© By Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India, Prof. Mrs. Rajamma Babu, Former Professor, St. Dominic's College, Kanjirappally, Leo. S. John, St. Antony's Public School, Anakkal, Kanjirappally and Neil John, Maniparambil, Ooriyakunnath, Kunnumbhagom, Kanjirappally, Kottayam-686507, Kerala, India.
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