"Please stop drinking so much," his wife had said. "You are going to risk your life!" He never listened. And now she was no more, he thought, in a deep state of depression and agony, still drinking on the beach. The roaring waves of the sea woke him up in the morning. He realized he had a daughter waiting for him at home. Shame overcame his hangover and he marched towards home, a new man. It took a life close to his own to make him realise the importance of his own. .
"Imagine we are not on our honeymoon, we are Jack and Rose, and both of us were saved from the Titanic," said Nihal.
Nitu laughed hard and said, "You have taken your imagination to another level!"
Nihal said, “Come on, I love you more than Jack, okay my Rose?"
Nitu looked into his eyes that were telling the truth. Nihal held Nitu's hand and ran to the seashore.
"What's this?" Nitu said. "Wait," Nihal said and opened the bottle. "THERE’S A MESSAGE!" they screamed! They started to read. “Help! we are stuck on an Island. From Jack and Rose.”.
Same spot. Same time. Same rag-tag khaki trousers and white shirt. Dripping nose. Intent face.
Gazing straight ahead at the ocean, he could see a few catamarans riding the waves and struggling to cross over to the placid deep. No returning boat. Two hours passed. He turned back and started walking away.
He knew that his father would return some day. Till then, the brandy bottle he emptied and threw away before he sailed off would remain on the same spot. No wave would touch it, nor would any beach urchin.
That day would come. He would wait..
Lying alone, on the golden grains of the land, he looked up at the vibrant colors that had filled the canvas of the sky. The pale glow of the moon had begun to show, leaving him in a state of melancholy.
''Happy anniversary, love!!''
''See, I kept my promise of celebrating our 1st anniversary at the seashore," exclaimed Hari, looking at the picture of his deceased wife, Lata.
(''I wished you had listened to me and driven slow on that unfortunate night.")
The jukebox played, ''An empty bottle, a broken heart, and you're still on my mind..." .
I was into my daily evening stroll on the beach, the effervescent water caressing my feet every now and then, when I noticed an object lying a few feet ahead of me. It was an empty vodka bottle. I picked it up and noticed that there was a strip of paper inside it. I opened the cap and extricated the paper rather bemusedly. Four innocuous words, “You are a Genie,” were written on it. I read the message again and thought to myself, “Am I?" As I was contemplating, a gentle breeze blew through, whispering in affirmation. .
Sandy toes and salt water curls, I stand staring into eternity. My mind wanders to the corners I never wanted to touch upon. The closed chapters of my life flash before my eyes. The unruly string of thoughts has come to visit its long-lost friend. We revive the unpleasant memories we made and all the tears we fought. I look down at my feet; I view the mark of the attack still etched on my body and in my mind. The message in the bottle is the only drop of sunshine I find. Faith, it says.
He woke up with a start. He couldn’t trace back how he got there. There was sand in his ruffled hair and his white shirt was crumpled. The saltiness of the sea gave him goosebumps, and the warm water tickled his feet. He was always a Sting kind of a guy. Rave parties and blackouts, Ecstasy and electronic music were never his things. It made him happy, 'the hundred million bottles washed upon the shore.'.
Lessons from parents are meant to be ignored and remain forgettable. When the bottle washed ashore, the ruins of the shipwreck and last night's wild party remained unforgettable in the minds of the seven survivors. The rowdy teenagers were drunk celebrating their friend's birthday. The boat party went horribly wrong when they played with aerial fireworks and a dangerous dare. The seven survivors were seriously injured. One of the drunk kids wasn't lucky. The water swallowed him eagerly. "Don't get into trouble," the parents often said. When mistakes turn into deaths, lessons remain unforgettable. .
There was no sign of him.
Later, they found an empty bottle of his preferred choice of alcohol on the beach. They surmised he had drowned himself, tired of trying to drown his sorrows in alcohol.
Saved them the trouble of organising his funeral.
Who would've bothered coming? .
That song... I'm a genie in a bottle, you gotta rub me the right way... fits aptly here. Or maybe a drinking problem... *They said it was a solution to all problems. He wasn't bothered by it, he just wanted to forget his problems...* oh! A conspiracy theory would be the best take... A brewery scandal; sunken spirits wash ashore, liquor baron under scanner!
"Are you done with taking pictures of that bottle yet? Teens today have no sense of responsibility. If you are old enough to drink, you are old enough to not litter. How hard is that!".