Lesson 22: Message in a Bottle

A few years ago, Ritu and Ayesha had gone for a holiday to Goa. They were walking on the
beach when they saw an empty bottle bobbing on the waves.
Ritu picked up the bottle out of curiosity. She suddenly got an idea. She wrote her name and
address in indelible ink on a piece of paper. She folded the paper, slipped it into the bottle,
and screwed the cap on the bottle. She threw the bottle back into the sea.
After their vacation, Ritu and Ayesha went back to Delhi and forgot all about the incident
on the beach.
A year and a half later, Ritu received a letter from a girl in England. The girl said that she had
found the bottle that Ritu had thrown into the sea in Goa and also the note inside the bottle
with Ritu’s name and address. So she was writing to Ritu to say hello.
Ritu and her English friend write to each other regularly now. However, they do not use
old-fashioned letters to communicate. Instead they use email. Now their letters cost nothing
because they don’t have to buy paper, envelopes, and stamps.
And their messages certainly travel faster than a letter in a bottle.

A) Vocabulary
Beach – sandy shore by a sea, lake, or body of water
Bobbing – a quick, short movement up and down
Wave – movement of the sea or a body of water as the water nears the shore;
movement of one’s hand to and fro in greeting or to signal something
Curiosity – desire to know or learn something
Indelible – (of ink or a pen) making marks that cannot be removed, washed away, or erased
Incident – an instance of something happening; an event or occurrence
Communicate – share or exchange information, news, or ideas
Envelope – a flat paper container with a sealable flap, used to enclose a letter or

B) Make sentences with the words given below. The sentences must show that you understand
the meaning of the word.

C) Read the text aloud. Pay close attention to the words above. Do you
know how they are pronounced?

D) Discussion Points
1. What were Ritu and Ayesha doing in Goa?
2. What did they see when they were walking on the beach?
3. What did Ritu do?
4. What did Ritu receive a few months later?
5. What do Ritu and her new friend do?
6. How do Ritu and her new friend communicate?
7. How does their mode of communication save money and time?
8. Do you exchange messages with a friend regularly? What do you discuss with each other?

E) True or False
Are these sentences true or false?
1. The letter that Ritu received was from a close friend in England.
2. Ritu wrote her name and address on a note and put it in a bottle.
3. Ritu waited eagerly for someone to write to her.
4. Ritu forgot about the note she had written.
5. The two girls write to each other all the time.
6. The two girls still use bottles to communicate.

F) If you were to write your favourite saying, proverb, short poem, or song in
indelible ink and slip it into a bottle and float it down the river, what would you

Revised July 2020

Audio courtesy Tara Kriplani: