THE SANDAL MAN
THE LONGEST LIST OF THE LONGEST
STUFF AT THE LONGEST DOMAIN NAME AT LONG LAST
The Sandal Man.
This story comes from a legend that has made its way
into the hearts of millions! Millions of people whose lives have been touched by
the Sandal Man. The tale is one of belief, disbelief, logic, reasoning and
power. All the contrasting elements in one great experience! The Sandal Man is
believed to have appeared just like that! He declared himself as the ‘next
responsible’ for those who cared. He was just as enigmatic as the people of the
‘village’. The Sandal Man and the village seemed to have a deep-rooted
connection that could not be explained in words. The villagers just accepted him
as he accepted them as his own. No questions asked and no limitations.
Going beyond the abstract, The Sandal Man was here
there and everywhere in the village. He ate at one place and slept at another.
The Sandal Man loved everyone, just as he yelled and screamed if something
annoyed him. And the villagers didn’t mind. Well, some did and plotted. The
Sandal Man, with his ‘now-aloof and now-social’ behavior was too much to cope
with. They let him be. On the cold nights he seemed to feel snug with nothing to
cover and on hot and humid nights – he shivered!
There was no telling what to expect of him. He knew
no limitations and behaved like the village was his responsibility. Somehow, the
presence of The Sandal Man seemed to be soothing and offered a sense of security
to the villagers. His huge persona, literally, was enough to scare off the worst
thugs and tame wild animals. The Sandal Man had this mild fragrance of a hundred
chips of sandal and spread it wherever he went or whomever he touched. The
villagers and The Sandal Man co existed in all craziness and love. He was their
protection and they were his children.
Then one day, he went missing. The Sandal Man seemed
to have had his fill of the village and the villagers. He was indispensable to
their very existence and they counted on his presence. He was their identity,
their treasure – to keep, to encash, to use and to own. The villagers could not
understand this behavior. It was not as if he had not disappeared for days
before, but this time he was nowhere to be found and out of sight for longer,
forever! The Sandal Man was erratic, but not a deserter. He had never left them
for such a long time before. However, even though he was not around and could
not be seen, the fragrance – it was there!
It was undeniable, unbelievable, but true. The
fragrance was there and everyone inhaled as much as they could. The Sandal Man
was a treasure that was now associated with the fragrance. But what about the
promise he had made? He had promised villagers that he would disclose the
Mystery of the Full Moon with them, on the very next full moon night. He
promised that it would be beneficial and profitable for each of them in a
special sort of way. The Sandal Man had told them that he would actually be
disclosing the presence of a treasure chest within the village that could be
unearthed with the power derived from the Mystery of the Full Moon. Had he done
this on purpose? Did he plan to keep all the treasure for himself? Who was the
With the next full moon approaching, The Sandal Man’s absence was even further
regretted by the villagers, but for reasons best known to each. Among the many
who felt cheated on an opportunity of promise to scoop out hidden wealth, there
were also a few who just missed The Sandal Man. And then, they decided to check
on how much they had trusted someone who they didn’t even know well. If he
appeared like he had done years back, he would be trusted again they swore.
However, if he didn’t, then they had learnt their lesson and would not allow
another stranger into the village again. Yes, they would be firm, or so they
On the night of the full moon, they eagerly awaited
for the stroke of midnight. Each one wondering who he would reveal the Mystery
of the Full Moon to and the connected treasure chest, if he did keep his
promise! Each one of the villagers stayed to himself reveling on the times he or
she did a good turn to The Sandal Man and hence, reason enough to earn the
treasure. With these thoughts the whole village kept awake and not one villager
knew that the others were doing exactly as he was.
On the stroke of midnight, The Sandal Man appeared at the door of the merchant
with whom he had lived the longest. On seeing him, the merchant was overwhelmed
and not wanting to waste any more time, he broached the topic of the long made
promise. The Sandal Man smiled and revealed that he was at the merchant’s house
for exactly the same reason. The delighted merchant, after offering The Sandal
Man some water to drink, sat down in rapt attention. The Sandal Man disclosed
that some thugs many years back to hide their loot in the village commons used
the Full Moon. The commons, when lit on a full moon night, would also reveal the
signs on the barks of trees left behind by the thugs. These led the way to the
treasure chest that had all that the thugs had ever laid their hands on. The
pointers were clear and could only be seen on a full moon night.
With the connectivity disclosed between the Mystery of the Full Moon and the
hidden treasure, the merchant was beyond himself. The commons, the treasure
chest, the wealth, his prosperity and recognition were all parts of the
whirlpool thoughts that played beyond The Sandal Man’s words thereafter.
Content, he extended his hospitality and gratitude that The Sandal Man accepted
willingly. The merchant retired after making his guest comfortable, with
thoughts of the next lunar phenomenon – the full moon. He needed to plan and
chalk out a list of people who he could take into confidence and offer a
percentage of the loot…. after all, he couldn’t carry the treasure chest back
from the commons all by himself, could he?
Finally, sleep did arrive and as stealthily as The Sandal Man. The merchant was
up with the first sound of the birds chirping in the trees and the first hint of
light. He was feeling blessed in a way. The God of Good Luck had chosen him. His
days of worry and debt were soon to be things of the past. He hoped that The
Sandal Man had slept too and would be his source of pride for all the villagers
to talk about. As he tiptoed to the room where The Sandal Man had lay down the
night before, he was surprised to see that his guest had already done the
disappearing act again. Anyway, even if he did disappear for long this time, the
information revealed the night before was enough to last a lifetime!
The merchant went about his business contentedly and
bumped into quite a few overly excited villagers. Had they seen The Sandal Man
at his house? Had they eves dropped on the conversation? Were they planning a
‘take over’ of the treasure? He finally took a contemporary into confidence. On
revealing the events of the night before, the flabbergasted friend had the most
ashen look on his face. And as the news spread, so did all the other villagers.
On coming together and discussing, they realized that The Sandal Man had
appeared, eaten and revealed the same story to all of them, before disappearing
in the morning! God, this was defying all logic!
The next full moon night, the commons were the
targeted grounds. The villagers got together and scrutinized the barks of the
trees around that were lit in a special way that night. Yes, the signs were
there, stars etched on the barks. They followed the lead and reached a spot
where there was a mound. On digging the mound and with equal effort exerted by
each one of them, they hit something solid! Night turned to day and their
efforts revealed the much sought ‘City of Temples’, right there…for them…not
one, but all of them could now capitalize on the find. Was this the treasure?
Well, they had to inform the authorities about the city. First things first and
the word spread. The village was no more one in good time. It grew into a
well-contained township that earned revenue from the tourists who poured in to
see the ‘City of Temples’. However, more than the revenue; the new owners of the
‘City of Temples’ were mesmerized by the idol in the ‘Temple of the Sun’ that
stood in the center. The idol had a very uncanny resemblance to The Sandal Man!
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