Picnic At Seaside
It is said that people rediscover themselves when they stand before the limitless sea. In our case, it was what can be called a modern version of a treasure chest. Yes, it may sound filmy and quite unbelievable, but this is what happened when last autumn we went for a picnic at the nearby beach. It was a busy week for all of us at home and so we were striving for a relaxing weekend outside the perimeter of school or office pressure and the boredom of the house. The beach is only two hours’ distance from our home. But the best part was that the beach is never crowded. Being located in an unornamented suburban area, it never attracts too many groups of tourists to penetrate the soothing silence of the area or to pollute the beautiful sight by littering everywhere. But plain and simple as it was, the sea offered an unbothered beauty to all the beholders.
We reached the beach quite early in the morning as our plan was to have breakfast on the beach. ‘We’ here consisted of my parents, my sister, my uncle, and myself. Walking towards the sea with a cup of coffee in our hands, I felt the hot fumes of it carrying the rich aroma of coffee and muddling that with the delicate scent of sand and salt water. My sister was already nagging to set up the things that we brought for playing badminton on the beach. So, my parents and uncle obliged. We did not even finish three rounds when my uncle invited another family to sit with us. Here I should note that my uncle is a very affable and cheerful person. He hardly faces any awkwardness to greet strangers and talks to them like an old friend in no time. We had noticed this family when we first arrived here. They were a girl around my age and her parents who also came to have a picnic at the seaside. My uncle met the father while buying coconuts from the little shop on the beach and now the eight of us found each other talking of lunch, weather, and of course sea.
I was not an unfriendly person either. I soon became friends with the girl and discovered that it was her first time at a beach. Naturally, her astonishment to watch the lines of waves touching the horizon was at its peak. After some time, getting permission from our parents who became busy with the arrangement of lunch, I along with my new friend and my sister went for a stroll on the beach. My new friend’s name was Sia. As we were walking along the line where the waves had made their marks by throwing themselves upon the sand again and again, Sia started searching for oyster shells on the soaked coast. The Sun was shining with all its splendor now and it placed sparkling golden crowns on the Santa Claus’s white beard like seafoam. Suddenly we noticed we had come a bit far from our picnic spot. The place was literally what solitude should demonstrate. We were just about to turn back thinking that our parents would scold us when my sister pointed something in the distance. It looked like a large old boat from where we were standing then. After a few hesitant moments, ultimately our curious steps started moving towards the unknown. Reaching there, we found that the boat was actually a launch and it was in fact so old and wrecked that we felt certain it was an abandoned one. At once the webs of fantasy worlds from books and movies floated before our young eyes and we started imagining possible incidents in and about the vessel. My sister was the first to climb into the abandoned launch. There were spider webs and dust all over the walls and wooden parts loitering on the floor. We found a private cabin on the top floor and went in. As expected, nothing much was to be seen as almost everything was too withered to be interesting. There was a locker beside the window which caught our attention. And opening it what we found, left us all agape. A beautiful small black box was there in the otherwise empty locker. I took it out to praise the intricate designs on the iron box. I asked them, "What if it is a treasure chest as we read in adventure stories?” But what I intended to tell as a joke, soon became an exciting concern. We began to think of what valuable gems could be there inside the box. Maybe a rare coral was discovered by the inhabitants of the cabin which they kept safely in the locker before drowning into the sea by a violent thunderstorm. Or maybe it was an exceptional necklace, a token of love and betrayal. While we were conjuring stories in our minds, I suddenly discovered that there was no lock on the box. So, our anticipation could soon be ended. Together we lifted the lid and what we found there outran even our wildest imagination. There in the abandoned launch into the private cabin inside the mysterious black chest were a number of oyster shells of different colors, shapes, and styles. It may be presumed that we were very much disappointed by our discovery of what we guessed to be a valuable treasure. But standing inside that silent old cabin with the left-out box of oyster shells, we felt a smile on our lips. This was a real treasure to us.
When we showed the box to our parents, they were rather discouraged by such an anticlimactic end to our adventure. But for us, finding what was inside was like Pandora opening her box. Only in the case of our box, there was no evil. As we discovered it together, there arose confusion about the possession of the box. Sia told me to keep it as the thought of treasure first came to my mind. I said, "If so, then let me give you this as a token of my friendship so that you never forget this picnic of ours in your whole life.” My sister also agreed with that. But even today we think about why the box was there and who it was. And I know Sia does that too.