“We haven’t been on a vacation for over 2 years now, Dad! This is certainly not done,” I complained.
“You know very well that your mother is not exactly in the pink of her health like she was before. And as far as I am concerned, I am retiring soon. I can’t afford to take any leave or pay for the three of us as of now. Savings are important. Your dreams are big. You want to take a trip abroad. It’s too expensive,” explained my great father.
“Not fair! I want to go to the Maldives. It’s beautiful!”
“Well, India is beautiful, too!”
“Yes! But we’ve seen enough of India. I want to see the rest of the world now.”
“In that case, either get yourself a good job with a lucrative pay or a rich husband. You’re already 30.”
Now, this hurt my ego. I kept mum. I knew an outburst wouldn’t be of any use.
Since the Maldives was a costly affair, I decided to fly to the Andaman Islands. Not with my parents though, but with my friends. I was excited at the prospect of going to a destination I had never been to before, though I was still angry with my parents. It felt like they were the worst parents on the planet Earth.
Dad was adamant and miserly. And Mom felt I was never satisfied with anything in life. How could they do this to me? Both always needed one excuse to criticize me and make me unhappy. I hated them.
Well, coming back to the trip, we were finally at the Havelock Island. We checked into the resort late in the evening. We decided to relax and meet during dinnertime.
I was resting after freshening up when Mom called. I cancelled the call, but picked it up the second time.
“What is it?”
“My baby, are you still upset? We are missing you. Have you reached?”
“Yes, we have. Thank you for your concern. Now please hang up.”
I disconnected the call.
Next morning, at the breakfast table, we heard a few locals discussing about the history of Havelock. There was supposedly a treasure chest with valuable gems and stones inside. It was said to be deep inside the sea.
My friends told me that it was all rubbish. But even though I too felt the same, still, I was like – What if……?
My girl gang was busy chilling, and dating the huge waves of the pristine Radhanagar Beach. There were other couples and families too. Some were enjoying activities like Scuba Diving and Parasailing.
So typical! I hated crowded areas. I really wanted to be by myself. I kept walking along, and finally, OMG! I reached a deserted part of the pristine beach. Havelock suddenly looked like a different island. Now, this was more my thing! It was beautiful!
I wondered if the treasure was somewhere in this part of the island. Oh! How the waves invited me! I suddenly felt like exploring. Had my treasure hunt adventure begun?
I started making my way into the sea. It felt so good. Being a Cancerian (a water sign), I had always been fond of beaches. This was special!
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a man appeared. He too was inside the water, but he was expressionless. He told me to be careful and not go deep as 3 years ago, an Australian couple had been attacked by a crocodile in this part of the island. I didn’t believe him, but he said it was true.
Ignoring him, I went deeper and deeper, and was almost prepared to dive when suddenly something was pulling me down. Nope, it wasn’t a crocodile or a shark, but it was the sea that betrayed me. It was turbulent and I was drowning. I was a good swimmer, but I simply couldn’t fight against the sudden rage of Mother Nature.
I screamed for help, and was unconscious in no time. When I opened my eyes, I was on the shore. There were numerous people and my friends surrounding me. I felt weak and tired. But I was alive!
Later, I discovered that a man had rescued me. I wanted to thank him. But no one could find him. He seemed to have disappeared in thin air! After saving my life, he was just gone.
I couldn’t sleep that night. I was so scared. I was suddenly missing my parents. I wanted to go home.
When I fell asleep, I saw the same man who saved me, dressed up as God in my dreams. I thanked Him but said that I was disappointed as I didn’t find the treasure.
“You will, my child!” He assured.
Finally, when I reached home, I ran and hugged my Mom tightly. My Dad too joined in. I broke into tears.
I had never felt so peaceful in my life before.
I said sorry, but my parents felt they should have been sorry for not accompanying me.
I was busy hunting for the treasure on the treasure island. But little did I know that the treasure island was my home, and the treasure, my family!
– By Shinjini Banerjee
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