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  • Writer's pictureRhea D'Costa

Alive

I lean against the backrest of my chair, allowing the hard wood to press between my shoulder blades. It is history class. The teacher is talking and I am trying my best to decipher her speech. I give up realizing that I am failing miserably in doing so. My classmates are scribbling away, drawing timelines and debating over various events. I am so completely and utterly lost from my surroundings. The class is a hurricane of chaos. It is a wilderness of numbers, words, and names, among others. My seat is by the window, facing the Heatherlen pier, a privilege I could not be more grateful for. I am so exhausted and drained by all the monotony of this insipid world. I stare out the window, at the endless blue that seems to blanket the earth in its embrace. Sometimes, when I stare at the sky, I wonder if It is possible to drown in all the cyan.


I close my eyes and listen intently for the softest of sounds. I try to hear every single voice, every pen on paper, every wind whistling and cutting through the air. I slowly try and isolate the feeblest voices from the rest of the chaos. I try and focus on the softest sound. At last I find it, it is barely a whisper, but then it grows louder perhaps, because I have shut out the rest of the voices. All the other voices have died out. When the sound is loud enough, I finally recognize it. It is the ocean. It is calm, undulating and yet dynamic. I can hear the sound of the waves slamming against the hanging cliff rocks, cascading and retreating from the shore. I can hear the wind whistling through the air, trying to cut its way through the trees and penetrate through the deepest parts of the hinterland. In that moment, I tripped, staggered and fell onto a familiar road. It was the pathway to pitfall cliffs. It was called so as only the most dauntless could dare to jump off the cliff and plunge into the brilliant blue waters below. I would often go to the beach adjacent to pitfall cliffs to read, and that is exactly what I did that day. I sat in the hot sand and watched in awe and disbelief, as people did the impossible. It was something I could never dream of doing. I was absolutely terrified of the water. I stared at the book in my hand, its pages rippling in the salty sea air.

I sit there, for a few more minutes, watching the waves racing their way towards the shore and realizing they have dwindled, receding back into the sea. Suddenly, among the waves, I see an object, rising and falling with the oscillation of the waves. Curious, I get up and wade through the water and sweep it from the retreating waves. It is very evidently, a glass bottle. It seemed as if it had been drifting in the water for countless of years. It was emerald green, choked with a weathered wooden cork. Salt had crystallized around its rim and the glass itself was hazy. It was incredibly light but there was definitely something inside it. I took it to the safety and comfort of the seashore and tried to unplug the cork from its mouth. It was a task, really. At last, I opened it and gave the bottle a violent jolt. Out fell a crumpled piece of paper. It was musty and yellowing. Ink blotches covered the paper. I picked it up and unfolded it. In neat, professional cursive, was written-

13th August 1889

‘My name is Jacinda. I am encasing this note in this bottle and letting it drift away as the thought truly fascinates me. I have not the slightest clue of who you are or where you are…and yet, I am talking to you. I have no idea which time or era you belong to but It is food for thought...something to keep me awake at night and ponder over…this bottle saunters the oceans and travels the world…probably has seen things no man ever has…. but it is out, in search of someone. Destiny will play its cards and that’s how this bottle will find you. I just wanted to say that whoever you are, wherever you are, promise me that you will live and live life to the fullest. It is truly sad how many people in this world do not live, they merely exist. Look for new adventures. Creativity and adventure have no bounds. The world is a playground, make it your own. Explore it, admire it and look for the unknown.’


Her words reverberated in my mind. Suddenly, my body enslaved my mind. My brain lost all control of my body. I felt my body detach from my brain. In that moment I was lost, lost to myself and my surroundings. I ran, I ran and I ran and I took the leap, jumping off the pitfall cliff and plunging into the cyan waters feet first.

For the first time I realized how formidable and forceful gravity actually was. A scream tore from my throat. But it wasn’t a scream of terror, it was a scream of uncontrollable ecstasy. It was an ineffable thrill I had never experienced before. The rush of it all sent me reeling. As soon as I hit the water, it jarred me to the bone. Its warmth creeped into the depths of my soul. I could feel every wave jostling me. The current cut its way through my skin. I sank into the folds of the ocean, allowing it to blanket me. The viscosity of the water forced me against my will, but I let it.

And then a sudden realization hit me harder than the waves. I realized, for the first time in my life, I was Alive.

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